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California in Congress

California's House members vote along party lines on permanently banning federal funds for abortion

California's House delegation split along party lines Tuesday on a bill to permanently prohibit the use of certain federal funds for abortions.

President Trump promised the anti-abortion community during the campaign that he would make the funding ban — commonly called the Hyde Amendment — permanent.

It passed the House 238-183 and goes next to the Senate. The 52 members who represent California in the House split along party lines, with 36 Democrats against for it, and 14 Republicans voting for it. Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and Jim Costa (D-Lieu) did not vote. Their staffs each said the member would have joined Democrats in voting against the measure.

If passed by the Senate, it would permanently prohibit federal funding from being used to cover abortion costs except in cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in danger. It effects government employee's health plans, Medicaid and health insurance plans offered under the Affordable Care Act.

The amendment has been added to the annual appropriations bill for the past 40 years and the bill approved by the House Tuesday would make it permanent.

During debate on the House floor Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) called the bill a “women’s health catastrophe” that will keep poor women on Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act from having access to insurance.

“In effect it makes abortion only an option for the wealthy,” she said.

Previous versions of the bill twice passed the House but were not considered by the Senate while President Obama was in office.

11:09 a.m. Jan. 25: An earlier version of this article reported that Democrats voted for the bill and Republicans voted against the bill. It was the opposite.

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