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U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett is getting flak from his campaign rivals for missing a budget vote Thursday that they say could pave the way for “federally-funded abortion on demand.”

The controversial measure – part of a massive appropriations bill – overturns a longstanding ban on federal funding for abortions by allowing Congressionally-appropriated funding to be used for elective abortions in the District of Columbia.

“This appropriations bill guts a longstanding prohibition on using public funds to pay for abortions in the District of Columbia,” said Dr. Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life. “The bill also provides millions of dollars for international ‘family planning’ that could be directed to organizations that pay for and promote abortions.”

The vote passed by a 221-202 margin, with Barrett one of three Republicans who was marked absent.

Previously, Barrett was criticized for attending a special interest fundraiser while the House voted on a resolution to censure U.S. Rep. Addison Graves “Joe” Wilson, who yelled “You Lie” at President Barack Obama during a Congressional address.

Several operatives affiliated with Barrett’s rival campaigns have brought this latest vote to our attention, and now we bring it to yours …

UPDATE: Barrett was back in Washington Friday, though, voting to end the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) that he flip-flopped on a year ago.