The House of Representatives voted 219-208 to pass a spending bill on Thursday that would not include the Hyde Amendment, a stipulation that prohibits taxpayer money from funding abortions, for the first time in 45 years.
The Hyde Amendment bans federally funded programs such as Medicaid from paying for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or endangerment of the woman’s life.
However, while the spending bill narrowly passed in the Democrat-controlled House, it faces long odds in the evenly divided Senate. Moderate Democrats and Republicans have expressed opposition to removing abortion limits like the Hyde Amendment.
Still, after the House passed the Labor-HHS-Education spending bill House Democrats celebrated it as a win for abortion access.
“Finally, the right to reproductive freedom has been recognized by the majority of Democrats,” Representative Barbara Lee (D., Calif.) said.
Pro-life advocates have warned against doing away with the Hyde Amendment.
Ahead of the vote on Thursday, March for Life President Jeanne Mancini called the amendment an important measure to “protect the American public from funding or providing abortions against their will.”
“Pro-abortion Democrats have again eliminated pro-life riders,” like the Hyde Amendment, from the spending bill, Mancini said, according to the Washington Examiner. “No one should be forced to compromise their values, but especially not on this life-or-death issue.”