Obama signs executive order reaffirming ban on federal funds for abortion

President Barack Obama signs the health insurance reform bill during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, March 23, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Without pomp of fanfare, President Obama signed a two-page executive order banning the use of federal funds for any abortion services. More accurately, it’s not a ban, but an E-O that affirms a continuing ban on the use of federal money for abortions.

While the order is little more than a reminder of standing law (specifically, the Hyde Amendment), it’s also the document that allowed reform to pass by finding a “sweet spot” that won over a handful of crucial pro-life votes without shedding pro-choice ones.

The settlement hasn’t been an easy pill to swallow for the president’s more liberal supporters, but according to the Brookings Institution’s WILLIAM GALSTON, “it was the model of win-win pragmatism.” Because of the victory’s shaky ground, Obama signed the order away from cameras and crowds, and used only one pen, not 22.

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