Government Shouldn’t Provide Tax Incentives for Abortions

Opinion   |   Bill Saunders   |   Mar 18, 2011   |   12:31PM   |   Washington, DC

With April right around the corner, many of us have taxes, tax credits, deductions, and other tax-related matters on our mind.

This week, so did the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures.  The Subcommittee held a hearing on Wednesday to address the tax implications of Section 2 of H.R. 3 – the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) introduced H.R. 3 in January and the House Judiciary Committee voted on March 3, 2011 to advance it to the floor.  H.R. 3 would establish a permanent government-wide prohibition on federal funding for abortions and abortion coverage consistent with the position of the overwhelming majority of Americans who do not want the Government forcing them to subsidize the abortion industry. 

The bill eliminates the need for appropriation riders (such as the Hyde Amendment, which currently must be renewed annually); regulations (which can be overturned by new administrations as the Obama Administration did with the Bush era conscience regulations); and executive orders (which exist at the will of a president, as we have seen with the Mexico City Policy). 

The need for such a bill is certain, as the abortion industry has made it clear that its agenda includes targeting these vulnerable annual “riders” and regulations. 

Consistent with the principles of the Hyde Amendment, H.R. 3 also ensures that no tax credits are allowed under the internal revenue laws with respect to amounts paid for an elective abortion, or for a health benefits plan that includes coverage of elective abortion. 

This language is critical to ensure that elective abortion is not characterized as health care and not allowed to be an itemized medical deduction.  The Government should not allow elective abortion to exist on the list of medical expenses that are eligible for tax credits, which is a form of subsidy.  Moreover, the U.S. Government should refuse to incentivize elective abortion through the U.S. Tax Code by offering tax credits or allowing credits to go to health care plans that cover elective abortion. 

The Congressional Budget Office released a report this week stating that H.R. 3 would have a “negligible” effect on tax revenue.  Regardless of the net tax-implications, the Federal Government should not have been in the business of providing financial incentives for elective abortion in the first place.  H.R. 3 ensures consistency throughout federal law with the principles of the Hyde Amendment – a rider that even abortion-supporting Democrats assured Americans would not be attacked during the health care reform debate. 

Abortion is not health care and should never be construed as such.  Abortion irreversibly impacts the health and well-being of women and takes innocent human life. 

This tax season, Americans United for Life continues to work to ensure that tax credits do not provide a financial incentive or reward the exploitation of women’s health and well-being and the taking of innocent human life by supporting H.R. 3.