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Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen arrive for a reception for Senators and their spouses in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote to allow states to defund Planned Parenthood


Vice President Mike Pence was called to Capitol Hill on Thursday to cast a tie-breaking vote on a bill to allow states to stop funding Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics. 

The House last month passed a resolution disapproving a Health and Human Services rule prohibited states from withholding Title X funding for family planning from health clinics that provide abortions. 

Two moderate Senate Republicans, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine voted with Democrats to uphold the rule.

But Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) who has been out recovering from back surgeries for several weeks returned to the Senate in a wheelchair to cast his vote supporting the resolution, creating a tie.

Pence cast the final vote to pass the resolution, which will now go to President Trump's desk. 

It's already illegal for federal funds to be used for abortion services.

But conservatives have long argued that organizations that provide abortions should not receive any taxpayer money. 

Democrats and moderate Republicans blasted the resolution, arguing it would cripple health clinics that service low-income patients.

Hawaii Sen. Hirono noted how a group of men was making the decision on women's healthcare.

Planned Parenthood noted the irony of the timing of the vote.

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