House passes bill to prohibit federal funding for abortion

congratulatedUSA Today 22 January 2015
House Republicans, faced with mounting opposition from their own members, pulled a bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and instead Thursday passed less restrictive legislation to prohibit federal funding for abortions.

The 242-179 vote was along party lines, with one Republican voting ‘no’ and three Democrats voting for the legislation. It would make permanent the so-called Hyde amendment, a provision that is added to legislation each year to prevent federal funding for abortions.

“It makes matters worse,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “It makes permanent the Hyde amendment. We haven’t done that before.”

While the House was considering the bill Thursday, the White House promised it would veto the measure should it reach President Obama’s desk.

Thursday’s vote was timed to coincide with the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. But Republicans had planned to take up a far more restrictive bill sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. Late Wednesday, House GOP leaders changed course and withdrew the measure because of objections from numerous Republicans — many of them women — who objected that the legislation was too restrictive and would turn off voters.

Franks’ bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except to save the life of the woman or in cases of rape or incest of a minor if they were reported to police.

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