This afternoon President Barack Obama signed the executive order created to ensure that federal funds will not be used under the new health care law to pay for most abortions, mirroring the Hyde Amendment.
The executive order was signed by the president as part of a deal with Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who voted for the health care bill after securing the assurance of the order. Stupak revealed in the wake of the negotiations that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had the votes to pass the bill without his bloc's support, and that the executive order was the best pro-lifers could do.
The order confirms that the long-standing ban on the federal funding of abortions—except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the woman's life—will apply to the Health Insurance Exchange and the funding of Community Health Centers.
The executive order has been criticized by the U.S. Catholic bishops and numerous pro-life groups as lacking teeth since the president could rescind it at any time or it could be struck down in court.