Abortion debate flares up on the campaign trail

The anti-abortion group Americans United for Life released a legal memo Friday to defend its political ads that call the healthcare reform law the "largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortions ever."

The radio ads target House Democrats John Boccieri (Ohio), Christ Carney (Pa.) and Baron Hill (Ind.). This week, The Associated Press's ADWATCH questioned the ads' accuracy, calling some of their predictions — that President Obama's executive order restricting abortion coverage could be overturned, or that the courts could mandate abortion coverage — "hypotheticals."

In response, AUL released a legal memo objecting to the government's rationale that federal subsidies for healthcare plans that offer abortion coverage aren't subsidies for abortion if the act itself isn't subsidized. The memo also argues that the president's executive order does not constitute a comprehensive prohibition on the use of federal funds for abortion coverage.

"The pro-abortion Obama Administration has the opportunity to expand federal funding for abortion through multiple programs in the Affordable Care Act," the memo concludes.