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A vote on the amendment only came up because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, couldn’t reach agreement with a pro-life group of 40 Democrats that threatened to block the bill from getting to the floor.

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, questioned the three Democratic committee chairmen who crafted parts of the bill, asking them to promise the language would remain in the bill once the House and Senate plans are merged. None agreed.

The abortion amendment is likely to put new pressure on the Senate to either remove the language or tone it done. But Democratic leaders already have their hands full trying to pass the reform bill as planned. In the Senate, moderate Democrats are apprehensive of the reform plans and are awaiting to see the legislation that Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, sends to the Senate floor, expected no sooner than next week.