U.S. Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking Senate vote on Thursday to pass legislation allowing states to withhold federal funds from Planned Parenthood, and to block taxpayer funds from other abortion providers.
The measure, which now goes to President Trump to veto or sign, dismisses an Obama Administration rule banning states from withholding federal funds to such organizations.
Pence’s vote broke a 50-50 tie. Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted against the measure.
Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Iowa, said that the measure reverses a rule that “attempted to empower federal bureaucrats in Washington and silence our states.”
But unsurprisingly, Democrats aren’t happy. The allowance would “let states treat women as second-class citizens who don’t deserve the same access to health care as men,” hissed Democratic senator Chuck Schumer of New York.