The Senate Appropriations Committee voted late Wednesday afternoon, 18-12, to permanently repeal the so-called Mexico City policy on Wednesday, a law that forbids U.S. aid from going to any country that counsels abortion.

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), who has fought this policy, also known as the "Global Gag Rule," for years, authored the amendment, which was attached to a larger spending bill that funds the State Department and U.S. foreign operations.

"It's time to stop playing politics with women's bodies," Lautenberg admonished.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an opponent of abortion, fought the effort, warning that it would throw the spending bill into jeopardy.

"Please understand how this issue affects the bill. It's not going to happen in the House," warned Graham, top Republican on the subcommittee responsible for the bill.

Three moderate GOP senators crossed the aisle to support Democrats: Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Illinois' Mark Kirk.

Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) broke ranks to oppose the measure.