ThinkProgress -- GOP Anti-Abortion Bill Will Force IRS Agents To Audit Abortions Of Sexual Assault Victims
The GOP’s H.R. 3, or the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortions Act, is quickly racking up a number of unprecedented offenses against a woman’s right to choose. Starting with the redefinition of rape, H.R. 3 also torpedoes the GOP anti-tax pledge by changing the tax code to raise taxes on women and small businesses that provide health insurance covering abortions. Now, as Mother Jones’s Nick Baumann reports, this tax code provision would turn the Internal Revenue Service into “abortion cops” who “investigate whether certain terminated pregnancies were the result of rape or incest.”
In the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on H.R. 3 Wednesday, the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee’s chief of staff Thomas Barthold testified that because the bill bans using tax credits or deductions to pay for abortions or insurance, a woman who used such a benefit would have to prove, if audited, that her abortion “fell under the rape/incest/life-of-the-mother exception, or that the health insurance she had purchased did not cover abortions.” Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) asked Barthold point blank “if a woman were audited, would IRS agents be at her house demanding court documents or affidavits proving that her pregnancy was the result of rape or incest?” Barthold confirmed what former IRS official Marcus Owens told Baumann — a woman would have to give “contemporaneous written documentation” that it was “incest, or rape, or [her] life was in danger” that compelled her abortion . . .