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. 

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"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 WeberRandall (Randy) Keith WeberHouse Republicans press Trump officials on plans to contain coronavirus at border Overnight Energy: Trump credits economic progress to environmental rollbacks | Vote to subpoena Interior delayed by prayer breakfast | Dems hit agency for delaying energy efficiency funds Democrats hit DOE for holding back energy efficiency funds MORE (R-Texas). 

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Diane BlackDiane Lynn BlackBottom line Overnight Health Care: Anti-abortion Democrats take heat from party | More states sue Purdue over opioid epidemic | 1 in 4 in poll say high costs led them to skip medical care Lamar Alexander's exit marks end of an era in evolving Tennessee 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.