WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives backed a controversial abortion bill, drafted by John Fleming, R.-La., that would prevent health insurance companies from having to pay for elective abortions.

The legislation passed 245-182 on a mostly party-line vote on Wednesday. Republicans say the California order upheld by the Obama administration last month would discriminate against companies and employees that oppose abortion on ethical and moral grounds.

The bill, named the “Conscience Protection Act,” has little chance of becoming law under President Barack Obama. But it represents an issue that resonates strongly with the Republican Party’s base in a contentious election year.

“Passage of

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