The White House issued a photograph of Obama signing the measure in the Oval Office, surrounded by pro-life Democrats led by Representative Bart Stupak, whose votes were crucial in the 216-212 passage of the historic health bill on Sunday.
Stupak last year co-sponsored a bipartisan amendment to the bill that severely restricted federal funding for abortions in the United States. In negotiations before Sunday’s vote in the House, Obama’s executive order won over the holdouts.
Obama’s measure does not alter existing legislation on abortion, stressed White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, adding that the president maintained his support for a woman’s right to choose to terminate her pregnancy.
The executive order, Gibbs said, “ensures that health care, the law the president signed (Tuesday), maintains the status quo of the federal law prohibiting the use of federal dollars for abortion.”
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