In fact, the executive order did neither.
As the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops noted in their legal analysis of the executive order, "the President may not amend or otherwise contradict the legislative mandates expressed by Congress in the form of statutory law." Congress makes laws--not the President.
The recent election showed the gaping holes in the "political cover" that Mr. Obama supposedly provided for his colleagues. Eight of the 14 legislators pictured at the presidential executive order signing are now gone. Seven lost elections and the eighth, Bart Stupak of Michigan, retired after losing credibility over the executive order.
As a result, House Democrats in the new Congress will have lost the core of their already small pro-life contingent. Presumably led again by radically pro-abortion Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, they will now be able to vote more as a bloc on abortion-related matters, without worrying about the aggravating pro-life colleagues who stand in the way of their pro-abortion agenda.
So the question is, is it possible that Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi anticipated this eventuality all along? Did they envision the executive order as the perfect way to appear to accommodate the demands of their pro-life colleagues while actually sealing their demise?