In 1986, as part of the annual appropriations bill covering federal prisons, Congress passed a law prohibiting the use of federal funds to pay for abortions in prison, except to save the mother's life or in cases of rape. The law also granted conscience protection to prison employees who did not wish to perform or assist in facilitating abortions. In 1993, Congress removed this policy from the annual appropriations bill, allowing the resumption of funding. The Fiscal Year 1996 Commerce/Justice/State Appropriations Bill restored the policy but the measure was vetoed by President Clinton. The policy was then included in a Continuing Resolution that became law January 26, 1996 (PL 104-99). Efforts in subsequent years to remove this policy from law have not been successful.

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