On Thursday, the House approved a bill to temporarily avoid federal default. Without extension, the government would have reached its debt ceiling on March 15. The House bill contains two abortion restrictions which would let states decide whether to provide Medicaid funds for low-income women seeking abortions and would force states to accredit hospitals that refuse to teach abortion procedures. The Senate bill does not contain these provisions.
Abortion rights advocates, including some moderate Republicans, are opposed to the restrictions in the bill. The two-week extenstion is sought by Republicans who are trying to decide what pieces of their agenda to put on a longer-term debt-ceiling extension desired by President Clinton.