Pro-Life Group Passes IRS Exam After Pro-Abortion Groups File Complaints

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 11, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Group Passes IRS Exam After Pro-Abortion Groups File Complaints Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 11,

Colorado Springs, CO ( — A leading national pro-life organization has passed an Internal Revenue Service test after it was the subject of complaints by pro-abortion organizations. Two pro-abortion groups alleged that Focus on the Family had violated its nonprofit tax status by endorsing candidates.

In 2005, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and other pro-abortion groups sent complaints to the IRS against Focus on the Family.

In the complaints, they alleged that Dr. James Dobson and Focus on the Family had engaged in unlawful political activities that justified revocation of their tax exempt status.

Last year, the IRS began an investigation of Focus on the Family that included all their publications, radio broadcasts, and Internet communications, especially those that mentioned public officials and political candidates.

But in a letter dated August 30, 2007, the IRS concluded that its examination "revealed that Dr. Dobson’s reported remarks did not occur in publications of Focus on the Family, did not occur at functions of Focus on the Family, and did not involve Dr. Dobson suggesting that he was speaking as a representative of Focus on the Family."

The IRS concluded that Focus could remain a tax-exempt non-profit group.

“This is a huge victory for Dr. Dobson and Focus on the Family," Focus attorney Jim Bopp told "No ministry is more careful than this one in complying with all the complex Federal and state laws regulating non-profit organizations."

"The fact that the IRS did such a thorough review, and found no violations, is a credit to Dr. Dobson, the Focus on the Family compliance team, and their desire to be a law-abiding organization," Bopp added.

This isn’t the first time the groups have gone after pro-life advocates.

Americans United, in June, went after a top Catholic official who wrote an editorial criticizing Rudy Giuliani’s pro-abortion position.

After Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin took Giuliani to task on his views, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State filed a complaint with the IRS.

Attempting to silence Tobin, the group asked the Internal Revenue Service to look into whether Tobin violated the Catholic Church’s tax-exempt nonprofit status.

In his column, published in the newspaper of the Diocese of Providence in Rhode Island, Bishop Tobin said he could never vote for Giuliani because the former New York mayor believes abortion should be legal.

He called Giuliani’s pro-abortion views "pathetic," "confusing," and "hypocritical."