March 30, 2017 / 8:42 PM / 4 months ago

U.S. Senate kills rule meant to protect family planning funds

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WASHINGTON, March 30 (Reuters) - For the second time on Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence took the rare step of breaking a tie in the U.S. Senate, as he cast the deciding vote in rolling back protections for federal funds for family planning and reproductive health.

In a 51-50 vote, senators approved killing a rule intended to keep federal grants flowing to clinics that provide contraception and other services in states that want to block the funding. In recent years states such as Texas have kept some healthcare providers from receiving the grants, as part of the country's longstanding fight over abortion.

Earlier in the day, Pence was called upon to end the deadlock over advancing the resolution to a final vote. (Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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