by Steven Ertelt
August 27, 2004
Temecula, CA (LifeNews.com) — A California attorney has filed a legal complaint with the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice alleging that Planned Parenthood employees were violating the nonprofit tax status of the abortion business by appearing on stage at a rally promoting Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry.
The political arm of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America endorsed Kerry earlier this year, but attorney Richard Ackerman says employees at Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles, a nonprofit, engaged in political activity that the IRS expressly forbids.
According to IRS regulations, "all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office."
Ackerman’s complaint, presented to the IRS and the Justice Department on Wednesday, says PPLA employees promoted Kerry at the rally. Affidavits from PPLA employees "attest to the fact that PPLA had displayed anti-Bush posters in its offices."
Ackerman says he filed the complaint, in part, because of the pressure abortion advocates have placed on pro-life churches that wish to distribute voter guides showing where candidates stand on important issues, such as abortion.
“If it is true that Planned Parenthood is allowed to post anti-Bush material in its offices, actively engage its affiliates to back ideologue candidates, and to ‘energize’ the public to a vote for a specific candidate or agenda, then it certainly seems that churches and other nonprofit organizations should be able to express their own thoughts on the upcoming election," Ackerman explained.
"If what appears to be electioneering is good enough for Planned Parenthood, then it ought to be good enough for those who oppose the agenda of Planned Parenthood and John Kerry," Ackerman explained.
The information for the complaints came from a case Ackerman recently filed on behalf of a group of black and Hispanic employees who formerly worked for Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles.
They filed a federal lawsuit alleging that they were treated in a racist manner by PPLA officials. They say the abortion facility is directed by white women who have created a hostile workplace environment for men and minority employees.
One complaint from a black employee accuses a PPLA official of referring to him with a racial slur.