Remember when House Republicans threw a temper tantrum over the IRS investigating the tax-exempt status of Tea Party groups? Even though it was later revealed that liberal groups were also under scrutiny, the GOP rage over what they called a government overreach just got a lot more outrageous considering what Republicans want to use the IRS for now.
House Republicans want to force the IRS to persecute, intimidate, and audit rape victims.
H.R. 7 (‘No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act‘) is a piece of legislation being pushed by House Republicans in an effort to further restrict abortion rights. If the bill were to become law, all state healthcare markets created via Obamacare would be banned from including abortion coverage in health insurance plans. Even private insurance companies would be affected by this. Furthermore, the bill would level an additional tax against business owners if their employee plans cover abortion. Basically, the GOP is trying to force businesses to drop abortion coverage. And perhaps the most dangerous part of this bill is how Republicans want to use the IRS in their plan to harass women who want an abortion.
According to H.R. 7, women would be banned from deducting the cost of an abortion on their taxes, even though the procedure is a valid medical service. The only exceptions to this rule are if a woman is a rape victim, an incest victim, or if the pregnancy is life-threatening. So, how would the IRS be able to sort out who qualifies for the exemption and who doesn’t? Well, that’s the scary part that makes Republicans look like hypocrites and persecutors.
The IRS, which conservatives have always hated, would basically become the GOP’s own personal hit squad against women. Any woman who attempts to claim abortion costs on their taxes would be audited. In other words, House Republicans are using the IRS to harass and bully women.
The IRS would be forced to seek out rape victims to ascertain if they were really raped or not. This process would allow the IRS to invade the personal lives of women across the country. Instead of police, medical professional, and the judicial system determining if a rape has occurred, the IRS would have the final say. That means victims would be interrogated by IRS agents about their ordeal.
According to NARAL Pro-Choice America, it could happen and it would be devastating to victims.
“Imagine having to recount a sexual assault — a horrifyingly painful, personal experience — to a tax collector,” a NARAL action alert says. “An anti-choice bill in Congress would do just that. It could force sexual assault survivors who access abortion care to prove the assault occurred.”
This bill could harm rape victims and the criminal justice system that is supposed to protect them.
It only gets worse from there. If the IRS decided that a rape victim wasn’t raped, she could face tax fraud charges that could result in prison time, fines, and a federal trial. This is a pure attack on victims by the Republican Party. They want to put victims through an investigation by an unqualified organization to determine if women were raped or not. Victims who the IRS decides weren’t raped would then face a federal trial which would result in further persecution. Then these women could end up behind bars, even though they’re supposed to be the victims. All because the IRS makes the final call. It would totally undermine the criminal justice system. One also has to wonder how such witch hunts would affect prosecutions and convictions in rape cases. IRS agents are number crunchers, not sex crimes unit detectives. They are completely unqualified to determine whether a woman has been raped or not. And if they wrongly decide a woman has not been raped, it could result in the eventual release of the rapist. It will not only do harm to cases that are both open and closed, but also cause less women to report rape out of fear of being persecuted by the IRS.
This is yet another part of the Republican war on women.
This is yet another shot being fired by Republicans in their war on women. When the GOP took control of the House in 2011, one of the first things they tried to do is redefine rape. In fact, that bill was also called the ‘No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act.’ Of course, tax dollars are already prohibited from being used for abortions via the Hyde Amendment. The House GOP has been obsessed with banning abortion in any way possible. Dozens of bills have been introduced every year. Just last June, House Republicans approved a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks. The GOP war on women isn’t just taking place at the federal level either. Just about every state under Republican control has pursued dangerous anti-abortion legislation since 2010. In addition to frivolous bills designed to strip women of their rights, members of the GOP have also made many incredibly offensive statements about rape. This bill is just the latest effort by the GOP to humiliate and intimidate women who exercise their constitutional right to choose.
This is a real scandal involving the IRS.
Women who are raped deserve to be protected. Allowing the IRS to audit rape victims is a serious violation of privacy that Republicans are using as a sleazy way to keep women from having an abortion. This bill is coming from a political group that has railed against the IRS for decades. Now they want to abuse the IRS and use it to torment women. This isn’t just a bad bill, it’s a real scandal that the American people should be aware of.