By Tom LoBianco
(CNN) — Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, sparked confusion Friday after saying he supports the anti-abortion Hyde Amendment and the Clinton campaign’s call to repeal the measure.
“I have been for the Hyde Amendment. And I have not changed my position on that,” Kaine said Friday on CNN’s “New Day.”
Kaine’s anti-abortion stance has been a sticking point for many liberal Democrats concerned that he might work against Clinton on the issue. But Karen Finney, a senior Clinton campaign spokeswoman who is also working with Kaine, said he would keep his personal views but also support a repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funds for abortion.
“As Tim Kaine has said, while he supports the Hyde Amendment, he has also made it clear that he is fully committed to Hillary Clinton’s policy agenda, which he understands includes repeal of Hyde,” said Finney, who has previously worked as Clinton’s senior spokeswoman.
Groups that support abortion rights split on Kaine’s remarks.
“Senator Kaine’s statement earlier today that he opposes repealing the discriminatory Hyde amendment was deeply disappointing,” said NARAL President Ilyse Hogue in a statement.
But Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement they were confident the new Democratic running mate would back Clinton in trying to repeal the measure.
“While we strongly disagree with Senator Kaine on this point, there are many places where we do agree. He has been an outspoken advocate for access to reproductive health care and stands in stark contrast to Mike Pence and Donald Trump,” Richards said in a statement.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund has given Kaine a 100% rating for his voting record in the Senate.