Legislation was passed Thursday which will allow states to withhold federal funding from Planned Parenthood and other health care providers that perform abortions. Vice President Mike Pence cast the deciding vote.
The legislation will reverse an Obama-era rule which mandated that states must not deny federal funding to organizations that provide abortions.
Republicans have said the Obama rule should be overturned to allow states the right to steer funds away from abortion providers if they choose.
Republican senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted against the measure.
According to Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, the legislation will “reverse a rule that attempted to empower federal bureaucrats in Washington and silence our states.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York called the legislation “another example of the Republican war on women,” adding, “It would let states treat women as second-class citizens who don’t deserve the same access to health care as men.”
According to reports, 13 states have restricted access to federal grants since 2011, “disrupting or reducing services in several instances.”
Pence lead the effort to defund Planned Parenthood while serving in Congress and co-sponsored “personhood” legislation, which called for babies to have constitutional rights at the moment of fertilization. When he was governor of Indiana, Pence signed several anti-abortion bills, “including one that banned abortions solely because of genetic abnormalities — legislation that was suspended by a federal judge.”
In January, Pence promised that the Trump administration would work with Congress to stop the taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion providers.
“Life is winning in America,” he said, adding, “And today is a celebration of the progress that we have made in the cause.”
H/T: USA Today
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