Illinois action blog

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bill Could Require Abortion Audits by the IRS

A recent article in Mother Jones highlights a new, horrifying development presented by HR 3, a bill introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), that's already fraught with controversy. It has come to light that a component of the bill requires IRS agents to ensure that no tax funds of any kind are used to fund an abortion, while forbidding women from using any kind of tax benefit or health insurance to cover the costs of an abortion. The vague writing in the bill could allow for the questioning of rape and incest victims, which would be extremely traumatic for women who already have had to talk about their horrible experiences. Proving the appropriate use of funds could mean having to share their stories with tax auditors. The burden of proof suddenly falls on the woman who had an abortion, regardless of her reason.

Representative Mike Thomas (D-California) brought attention to this part of the bill, largely ignored up until now, due to the controversy over the term "forcible rape" (which has since been removed from the bill), preventing a woman who gets pregnant through statutory rape or incest from using Medicaid to pay for her abortion.
"This bill gets more outrageous and insulting by the day. Not only would a woman have to describe her sexual assault to the police, but she could then be forced to relive that horrifying experience with an agent from the IRS.  The 221 members of Congress who signed their names to this egregious bill must explain to their constituents why they want to give the IRS authority to audit rape survivors."
            - Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America

For more information on this bill, click hereSign up for action alerts to stay up-to-date and get involved as we band together to fight HR 3.

Technorati tags: Planned Parenthood, Abortion, Smith bill


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