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Pence breaks Senate tie, enabling states to cut Planned Parenthood funding

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         Pence breaks Senate tie, enabling states to cut Planned Parenthood funding

WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence cast the tiebreaking votes in the Senate on Thursday on a measure that would enable states to strip some federal funds from women’s reproductive-health organization Planned Parenthood and other health-care providers.

With Pence’s vote, the Senate voted 51-50 to cancel a regulation issued by the Obama administration that would prohibit states from denying certain funds to health-care providers that perform abortions, freeing states to refuse to give the funds to Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. and similar organizations.

Republicans have 52 votes in the Senate and Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine voted against repealing the rule. As president of the Senate, Pence broke the tie votes. The House passed the resolution in February. It now goes to the president, who is expected to sign it.

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington urged that at least one more Republican vote against the measure and sink it, arguing it would “undo a valuable effort by the Obama administration to ensure that health-care providers are evaluated for federal funding based on their ability to provide the services in question — not ideology.”

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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