President Barack Obama has signed an executive order designed to ensure that no federal money can be used for elective abortions under the nation's new health care legislation.
Obama agreed to the order on Sunday to ensure passage of the health care overhaul that is central to his agenda. The deal won the votes of anti-abortion lawmaker Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan and a bloc of other House members who wanted assurances that existing federal policy would not change.
The order affirms a prohibition on federal funding of abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the woman's life.
Obama invited lawmakers to the Oval Office for the order signing Wednesday but no members of the news media were allowed in the room.