The House passed legislation on Tuesday that would permanently codify existing law banning the use of federal funds for abortion services. Lawmakers approved the measure largely along party lines, with three Democrats joining Republicans in the 238-183 vote.The legislation, written by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), would also permanently prohibit the District of Columbia from using its local funds approved by Congress for abortion services.
“That’s what we should be all about. Life affirming and the saving of human life,” said Smith.
The three Democrats who voted for the legislation were Reps. Henry Cuellar (Texas), Daniel Lipinski (Ill.) and Collin Peterson (Minn.).
Passage came one day after President Trump issued an executive action prohibiting the use of taxpayer funds for nongovernmental organizations that provide abortion services or support abortion rights. It also falls three days before the annual March for Life to protest the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which had its 44th anniversary over the weekend.
House Republicans have regularly scheduled votes on bills to restrict abortion over the last six years to coincide with the March for Life. But all of those bills have been met with a Democratic filibuster in the Senate.
Former President Obama also opposed the passage of each measure.This time, however, Republicans have an ally in the White House who’s more inclined to sign legislation to limit abortions. Top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway is one of the featured speakers at this year’s March for Life.