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State Senate lawmakers reject proposal to fund anti-abortion hotline

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- The Arizona Senate has rejected a $2.5 million program to promote childbirth over abortion.

Monday evening's vote was a rare defeat for the influential social conservative group Center for Arizona Policy.

Republican Sens. Kate Brophy McGee and Heather Carter joined all Democrats in opposition. They cited the earlier rejection of state money for the 211 hotline that refers callers to a wide range of public services. Anti-abortion lawmakers have rejected that funding because a handful of callers sought referrals to abortion providers.

Center for Arizona Policy director Cathi Herrod has said she hoped Arizona could create a program similar to one in Texas that she says successfully reduced abortions.

Democrats say the legislation was a backdoor way to fund "crisis pregnancy centers" that discourage women from having an abortion.