Republicans are so serious about policing women’s bodies that they have enlisted the help of the IRS. Under the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”, or H.R.3 IRS agents would have to investigate whether certain terminated pregnancies were the result of rape or incest.
That’s right. House Republicans are proposing, and are expected to pass, abortion audits.
The audit would be the only way to ensure that taxpayers were complying with the law which bans federal funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at stake. In some cases the law will forbid using tax benefits like credits or deductions to pay for abortions or even health insurance that covers abortion.
Under the bill, if a woman who used such a benefit (like her own insurance) were to be audited, she would bear the burden of providing documentation that her abortion fell under the rape/incest/life-of-the-mother exception, or that the health insurance she had purchased did not cover abortion.
Making the woman prove to government agents that she fell under the exception is a particularly nice touch, don’t you think?
But the bill would affect more than just the women who have had to terminate a pregnancy. Some adults pay for abortions for their children, meaning that if H.R. 3 becomes law parents could face IRS questions about whether they spend pre-tax money from health savings accounts on abortions for their child, forcing the family to relive and explain to investigators just how the pregnancy happened.
Given that H.R. 3 is the same bill that tried to set “forcible rape” as the standard for the abortion exception, the fact that it tasks the IRS with womb patrol should come as little surprise. It’s also a perfect reminder that the GOP has set as its only agenda the eradication of women’s rights.
photo courtesy of aidanmorgan via Flickr