House upholds D.C. abortion funding ban

WASHINGTON (AP) - A House committee has rejected an amendment that would allow the District of Columbia to spend local tax dollars on abortions for poor women.

The committee is considering an appropriations bill for the upcoming fiscal year that includes D.C.'s budget. The bill would continue a ban on D.C. spending local or federal dollars on abortion. The ban was re-imposed during the budget that averted a federal shutdown.

Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, offered the amendment, saying local elected officials should be allowed to make their own spending decisions. She also says the ban discriminates against "poor and disenfranchised women."

But Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, a Missouri Republican, warned that anti-abortion lawmakers would block the entire appropriations bill if the amendment were accepted. The amendment failed on a party-line vote.