The Senate yesterday voted to require that parents be notified if their child has an abortion in a federally assisted facility, but abortion rights advocates said they took some comfort from the closeness of the vote.

The amendment, by Sen. William L. Armstrong (R-Colo.), passed by voice vote after a motion to table it failed in a 48 to 48 tie. While the vote was mainly along party lines, several northern Republicans joined the effort to block the amendment. At the same time, some southern and western Democrats voted against shelving it. Locally, Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.) and Charles S. Robb (D-Va.) voted in favor of tabling, or delaying consideration, while Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) voted against.

The provision, which was attached to a $183 billion labor, health and education appropriations bill for 1991, was termed "very cold and very heartless" by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

It would not allow a woman under 18 to notify a judge rather than her parents, as some states now permit. On the other hand, some state laws, now under review as a result of a recent Supreme Court decision, go further than the Senate provision by requiring the consent of one or both parents, not merely notification. States that already have parental notification laws would not be covered by the Armstrong provision.

The Senate last month voted in favor of the notification requirement, but that proved meaningless because the underlying bill was shelved.

The underlying labor, health and education measure passed 76 to 15 late yesterday after several efforts by Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) to reduce funding in the bill for AIDS treatment and research were defeated.

The unexpected move by antiabortion forces on notification typified the legislative shoals through which appropriation bills must still pass as Congress races to wind up its business.

Later, antiabortion forces scored a second victory when language in the 1991 foreign aid spending measure, providing $15 million for the United Nations Population Fund, was deleted. Critics of the organization charged that the fund supports family-planning services in China, a nation that practices coercive abortion and sterilization.

The Democratic leadership mustered only 51 of the needed 60 votes required to shut off debate on the controversial allocation and conceded defeat.

In a step aimed at tightening congressional control of the Cambodian aid program, the Senate then adopted an amendment increasing U.S. nonlethal aid from $7 million to $20 million while requiring the president to certify that no direct or indirect assistance is going to the Khmer Rouge communist guerrillas.

The action was strongly supported by Sen. David L. Boren (D-Okla.), chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, which suggested to some observers that money that has been going into U.S. covert aid to Cambodia was being redirected to the humanitarian aid program and subjected to more public scrutiny.

Sen. Robert W. Kasten Jr. (Wis.), the ranking Republican on the foreign aid appropriations subcommittee, said the Bush administration opposed the amendment, but he did not attempt to block it. The amendment, which was offered by Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell (D-Maine), would require the president to terminate aid to any Cambodian organization cooperating with the Khmer Rouge and would require him to submit an unclassified report on the extent of military cooperation since 1986 between the Khmer Rouge and the noncommunist resistance.

In the House yesterday, a carefully crafted 1991 military spending bill only narrowly avoided being cut by 2 percent, or more than $5 billion, as a result of a floor amendment offered by Reps. Timothy J. Penny (D-Minn.) and Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).

The proposed cut, which was defeated 215 to 201, would have rolled back an increase in defense spending made possible as a result of the recent budget summit. "It is the deficit that is going to crush us, not the Russians," said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), urging support for the $5 billion rollback.

Although Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the defense appropriations subcommittee, has slashed billions from the president's defense requests, he found himself on the defensive during the rhetorical sparring over the proposed $5 billion trim. "We can't cut the defense budget at this point and have them {U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf} believe we support their deployment," he said.

But supporters of the further cut noted that the Persian Gulf operation is not being funded through the defense bill, but through a future special appropriation bill.

The full $268.3 billion bill passed on a vote of 322 to 97. Except for Reps. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) and Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.), all local representatives voted for the defense spending bill.

Energy and water projects did not fare as well at a House-Senate conference. Funds for the atom-smashing superconducting super collider were cut by $75 million, and scientific research projects, such as magnetic fusion, also were reduced as conferees sought to come up with $750 million in economies in a bill that they had passed earlier in the year.

The cuts were forced on the conferees in part by the terms of the budget summit, which protected funds for nuclear weapons and other defense items that the appropriators had tapped earlier in the year to finance domestic water and science projects.

Late last night, the Senate reached an impasse on the foreign aid bill and adjourned until Monday morning in what Mitchell called "a significant step backward" on the effort to recess by next Friday. The impasse arose after Republicans objected to a plan by Sen. Timothy E. Wirth (D-Colo.) to offer an amendment that would overturn longstanding policy requiring that U.S. population aid go only to private organizations that do not promote or practice abortion.