House votes to let states deny federal funds to abortion providers

House votes to let states deny federal funds to abortion providers
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The House voted Thursday to roll back an Obama-era regulation that barred states from defunding healthcare providers for political reasons. 

Former President Obama's rule required that state and local governments distribute federal Title X funding for services related to contraception, fertility, pregnancy care and cervical cancer screenings to health providers, regardless of whether they also preform abortions. 

Democrats argued the GOP's effort was aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood, even though the organization is legally prohibited from using federal funds for abortions. 

"It's no surprise that, once again, congressional Republicans are trying to undermine access to healthcare and basic family services," Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said on the floor Thursday. 

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) called the resolution a "backdoor attempt to restrict access" to abortion. 

"It's cruel, it's wrong, and I would say it's discriminatory," Maloney said. 

But Republicans argued that rescinding the regulation would give states back the right to determine how they distribute the Title X funding they receive. 

"States have the right and responsibility to choose health providers that best provide and serve the needs of their moms and babies," said Rep. Randy WeberRandy WeberGOP worries as state Dems outperform in special elections How Republicans split on the Harvey aid, fiscal deal House passes Trump deal on majority Democratic vote MORE (R-Texas). 

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Diane BlackDiane Lynn BlackOvernight Finance: House passes .2T funding package for 2018 | FTC launches Equifax probe | Mnuchin defends honeymoon jet request | Floor vote on House Budget unlikely until October Overnight Finance: GOP plans to unveil tax framework in late September | Critical stretch for Trump tax team | Equifax CEO called to testify | Sanders unveils single-payer bill MORE (R-Tenn.), rejected the Democrats' argument that it's a war on women. 

"This resolution — it empowers states that are able to choose to invest in women's healthcare over abortion," Black said. 

"I want to just mention that the true destruction to women's health is abortion."

Congress is using the Congressional Review Act to roll back some of the recently finalized Obama-era regulations, such as the one regarding Title X funding, which was finalized in the last month of his presidency.