Now the Republican Party Wants the IRS to Audit Rape Survivors If They've Had an Abortion

Even movie villians aren't this twisted. And, no, I'm not making this up (italics mine):

Under a GOP-backed bill expected to sail through the House of Representatives, the Internal Revenue Service would be forced to police how Americans have paid for their abortions. To ensure that taxpayers complied with the law, IRS agents would have to investigate whether certain terminated pregnancies were the result of rape or incest. And one tax expert says that the measure could even lead to questions on tax forms: Have you had an abortion? Did you keep your receipt?

In testimony to a House taxation subcommittee on Wednesday, Thomas Barthold, the chief of staff of the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee, confirmed that one consequence of the Republicans' "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" would be to turn IRS agents into abortion cops--that is, during an audit, they'd have to detemine, from evidence provided by the taxpayer, whether any tax benefit had been inappropriately used to pay for an abortion.

And let's see what that really means:

Under standard audit procedure, a woman would have to provide evidence to corroborate facts about abortions, rapes, and cases of incest, says Marcus Owens, an accountant and former longtime IRS official. If a taxpayer received a deduction or tax credit for abortion costs related to a case of rape or incest, or because her life was endangered, then "on audit [she] would have to demonstrate or prove, ideally by contemporaneous written documentation, that it was incest, or rape, or [her] life was in danger," Owens says. "It would be fairly intrusive for the woman."

Combine this with the Texas Republicans' 'Vaginal Intrusion Act' (it's not really called that, but it should be), and this is a full-frontal assault on the civil liberties of women. As I've noted before about H.R. 3 (which contains this stupid IRS auditing), this is a complete waste of time:

So what's the second most awful thing about the Republican 'Have Your Rapist's Baby If You're Poor' Act?

We shouldn't have to be fucking dealing with this. At all.

We are a nation beset with problems, and fixing those problems is going to require a lot of work. Now, the Republicans dump one more problem--once again, of their own making--onto the pandimensional clusterfuck that is our body politic.

The left, such as it is, will have to oppose this odious legislation because it's awful. We shouldn't be surprised by this either: after legitimizing torture, it's pretty clear we fell off the moral arc of history a while ago. Meanwhile, our attention and energy will be diverted from economic issues.

I'm not arguing this is an unimportant 'social' issue: far from it. But we'll have to work hard, and, when it's all said and done, the best we can hope for is that we're right back where we started.

It's all the more stupid since it won't pass the Senate or a presidential veto--in fact, Obama would relish the opportunity to score some points by vetoing such a horrendous bill. This is nothing more than political theater. Meanwhile, unemployment is still at nine percent, there isn't any real movement to help underwater homeowners, and our national infrastructure is still decaying. Oh yeah, global warming too.

This is not winning the future.

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The most awful thing about the proposed bill, "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" (H.R. 3), is, well, the bill itself: With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to "forcible rape." This would rule…
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But it is "WTF?"

By John Savage (not verified) on 19 Mar 2011 #permalink

Here's a simple solution to this problem that our beloved (snicker) elected officials would never do; let it pass. Go ahead and let the damn thing pass. Have a single voice from the party give a long-winded response on why this is such a horrible idea and then everyone abstain to let it pass. Then, TELL OBAMA TO VETO IT. It takes the two parties hours, days, or weeks to argue back and forth. It takes the President five minutes to veto it and he gets 10 days to do it. All the while we get the opportunity to get some damn work done. Sometimes things need to be fought over, and other times they just need to be shown for how idiotic they are.

This is more of the republican idea of "small government".

But remember, making health care affordable for most Americans is an "assault on liberty".

By Greatbear (not verified) on 19 Mar 2011 #permalink

It's not so much affordable health care that's an assault on liberty, it's the mandatory part.

"I'm not arguing this is an unimportant 'social' issue: far from it."

it's an important issue to the misogynist soc. cons, and for THEM it's a social issue. But so is being anti darwin/science, etc.

for the rest (of us), it's their (our) own business.

Graey, you're absolutely right. It's outrageous that it's mandatory for taxpayers to subsidize the cost of health care for people who refuse to buy coverage, but expect to be able to walk into any emergency room and get treatment regardless of whether they are willing to pay for it. Everyone who wants to be able to get health care in this country should be expected to pay into the system that they want to keep them alive even if they decided to gamble with their lives.

And remember, this method of using IRS to enforce? Republican AGs from more than 20 states argue such mechanisms are unconstitutional if done to increase health care. Difference here? I don't see any difference.

Hypocritical much?

James F | March 19, 2011 5:34 PM:

Then, TELL OBAMA TO VETO IT. It takes the two parties hours, days, or weeks to argue back and forth. It takes the President five minutes to veto it and he gets 10 days to do it. All the while we get the opportunity to get some damn work done.

But that would also give the Republicans an opportunity to do some more damage. It's better to fight the bill every step of the way, making the Republicans pay as much as possible for their effort to pass it - thus preventing them from getting other aspects of their agenda through congress.

Clearly this bill is consistent with the Republican idea that corporations(run by bean-counter men) do not need any regulation. Meanwhile, women (weak, foolish vessels that they are) require stringent regulation.

Let's get government out of the market place and into the wombs!

By OldMayfly (not verified) on 03 Apr 2011 #permalink

The phenomenon of becoming bankrupt(the best health insurance package in the world included)via the IRS or medical intervention is very recent.Some contend as if these aspects of American life are forgone conclusions.How trite and utterly divisive we are as a nation to ever consider our neighbor's plight to not be ours.Extreme poverty is a choice,mental disability not allowing higher education and capitalistic endeavor,a choice.Even being a good provider and parent that loses their job and milks the demonic welfare system out of need is a choice.No empathy,logic or motivation but for that next dollar is all some can see anymore,pathetic indeed.Leave the sick and dying on the curb,like in that Monty Python movie,because as long as I have money,I am GOD.

So, the party of less government wants to use more government to get in your pants. It's just a typical day in the neighborhood of the grand-old-perverts. Another step in the dumbing of America.

I am pretty sure if it were men who beared the children we would have abortion as a viable insurance covered medical option for treatment.

Men who don't believe a woman being raped is one of the top violent and emotionally debilitating of crimes don't deserve to have sex with any women.

Women who lie about being raped are the lowest people I know.