Democrats press to retain longtime abortion funding ban

Cropped Photo: Wolfgang Moroder / CC BY-SA 3.0
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Top Democrats on Capitol Hill are intent on preserving a four-decade ban on taxpayer-financed abortions despite calls from their party's presidential candidates to abandon it.

Lawmakers are arguing that any attempt to undo the longstanding consensus is doomed to fail and not worth scuttling a key education and health funding bill over.

While presidential candidates like Democratic front-runner Joe Biden are rewriting their positions on the so-called Hyde Amendment, legislative veterans such as Rep. Rosa DeLauro are working behind the scenes to smooth the waters for the provision.

It is a long-settled feature of the annual funding measure, which contains numerous programs dear to Democrats.

Powering the pragmatic approach is simple reality: The GOP-controlled Senate simply won't pass the measure unless the abortion provision stays in.