Reporting from Washington — The Republican-led House on Friday approved an amendment to a massive spending bill that would prohibit federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
The measure offered by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) was approved 240-185, with several Democrats joining Republicans in support. The organization would be prohibited from receiving federal funds for any of its activities. It is already banned from using federal funds to perform most abortions.
The House continues making its way through hundreds of amendments to a spending bill to fund the government through Sept. 30. The bill makes more than $60 billion in cuts for the remaining seven months of the fiscal year, but is unlikely to be supported by the Democratic-controlled Senate. Failure to pass a bill when the current spending plan expires on March 4 could lead to a federal government shutdown.
Pence has made himself the leader of a coordinated effort to defund Planned Parenthood, which is the nation's largest provider of abortions and a longtime target of abortion foes.
The congressman has introduced legislation that would deprive the organization of funding used for contraception, cancer screenings and health services for low income patients. His amendment went a step further by depriving the organization -- and each of its local affiliates -- of all federal funds. Planned Parenthood receives funding from federal, state and local government grants.