The Idaho Senate defeated a bid to amend Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's measure to establish a state-based insurance exchange.
Thursday's 24-11 vote against changing the bill came after charged allegations that a state or federal exchange could violate people's religious freedom by forcing them to pay for abortion drugs.
Republican Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll of Grangeville raised that concern, contending insurance offered through an exchange would require coverage for morning-after style contraceptives that she believes also could be used to induce abortions.
Sen. Dean Cameron of Rupert, another Republican, urged the Senate not to start the process of modifying the bill.
Though Cameron said he appreciated Nuxoll's "heart" on the issue, he said Idaho already passed laws prohibiting insurance offered through an exchange from covering procedures to terminate a pregnancy.