Washington (CNN) - The House of Representatives on Saturday night passed an amendment to pending health care legislation that prohibits federal funds for abortion services in the public option and in the insurance "exchange" the bill would create.
The vote passed 240-194.
The amendment was introduced by anti-abortion Democrats. Its consideration was considered a big win for them and for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which used its power - especially with conservative Democrats in swing congressional districts - to help force other Democratic leaders to permit a vote that most of them oppose.
The prohibition, introduced by Democratic members, including Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Indiana, and Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, would exclude cases of rape, incest or if the mother's life is in danger.
Republicans strongly supported the measure.
The GOP accounted for 174 of the votes in favor of the amendment, with 1 Republican voting "present."
On the Democrat's side, 64 voted for the measure, and 194 voted against.