In 1995, Republicans reimposed the ban, with exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother. But government funds can only be used for cases in which the mother’s life is in danger.
The Burris amendment would also allow doctors to refuse to perform abortions in overseas facilities, according to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat, who supported the change.
Rep. Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican and a leading opponent of abortion on Capitol Hill, said pro-life forces would push to keep the ban in place.
“Weve had to fight this fight before,” Mr. Smith said. “Military hospitals should not be turned into abortion mills.”
He said the issue puts Mr. Obama on the spot again after the president signed an executive order in March, after passage of the health care reform measure, to preserve policies that keep federal funds from paying for abortions.
“This will now be a test to see if Obama sticks to his word,” Mr. Smith said.