NBC News and news services
updated 2/18/2011 3:30:44 PM ET 2011-02-18T20:30:44

The House has approved a Republican proposal to block federal aid for Planned Parenthood.

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The 240-185 vote on Friday is a victory for anti-abortion forces led by Indiana GOP Rep. Mike Pence. He says taxpayer money should not go to groups that provide or promote abortion.

"This afternoon's vote is a victory for taxpayers and a victory for life," Pence said Friday. "By banning funding to Planned Parenthood, Congress has taken a stand for millions of Americans who believe their tax dollars should not be used to subsidize the largest abortion provider in America."

Democrats say Planned Parenthood provides contraception and other valuable family planning services, and that cutting off the money will make it hard for women to get such basic help.

Planned Parenthood provides services in hundreds of clinics around the country. Pence aides say the group reported receiving $363 million in federal money in its latest report.

The proposal is part of a bill that seeks to cut government spending this year.

The Democratic-run Senate has stronger abortion rights views than does the House, making it unlikely the House proposal will survive.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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