The inevitable has happened as Vice President Pence cast a tie-breaking decision in a Senate vote last Thursday to withhold federal funds from Planned Parenthood and other health care providers that perform abortions.
The measure is now on its way to Donald Trump for his signature and will dismiss an Obama-era rule banning states from denying federal funds to such organizations.
Pence’s vote was needed to break a 50-50 tie with Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska broking their party majority and voting against the measure.
Republicans believe that states should have the right to without funds from abortion providers if they choose regardless of the former Obama rule.
Democrats condemned the measure throughout the day, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York calling it “another example of the Republican war on women.”
“It would let states treat women as second-class citizens who don’t deserve the same access to health care as men,” he said.
Women’s marches across the country have protested cuts to reproductive health care services. But with VP Mike Pence being an evangelical Christian who was a leader in efforts to defund Planned Parenthood while serving in Congress, many knew this decision was inevitable.
According to USAToday, Pence has previously co-sponsored “personhood” legislation calling for constitutional rights at the moment of fertilization. As governor of Indiana, he signed several anti-abortion bills, including one that banned abortions solely because of genetic abnormalities — legislation that was suspended by a federal judge.
In January, Pence became the highest-ranking official to appear in person at the annual March for Life demonstration. He told attendees then that the Trump administration would work with Congress to permanently bar taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion providers.
“Life is winning in America,” he said then, to cheers. “And today is a celebration of the progress that we have made in the cause.”