Abortion

IRS Denies Tax Exempt Status to Anti-Abortion Group

| by Jill Stanek

A July 6 press release:

Today the Internal Revenue Service was put on notice that the Thomas More Society in Chicago stands ready to defend the Coalition for Life of Iowa against the prejudicial questioning by the IRS, which has delayed granting tax exemption to the non-profit religious organization.

After questioning the "educational" nature of the Coalition's materials, prayer meetings, talks and other pro-life activities, the IRS stated it would not grant tax exemption until the Coalition swore to limit its "picketing" and "protesting" of Planned Parenthood.

Apparently, it was IRS Agent "Ms. Richards, CPA" who made this threat in a phone call to CLI President Susan Martinek earlier this spring. From the attorney's July 2 response letter, here is what Ms. Richards was alleged to have said:

In a June 22 FAX to CLI's attorneys, Ms. Richards backed off her phone threat but still inexplicably obsessed about CLI's planned activities at its local PP:

Hm. Is it possible the IRS's "Ms. Richards" is any relation to PP CEO Cecile Richards? Doubtful but that would make for a little bombshell.

Read the rest of TMS's press release outlining the IRS's infringement of CLI's First Amendment rights on page 2.

TMS press release, continued:

In their response, TMS attorneys... argued that the IRS is in danger of violating the First Amendment.... The repeated questioning... suggests the IRS may be denying or delaying tax-exempt status to an eligible organization based solely upon its religious affiliation and speech. Many other organizations regularly advocate on both sides of these issues, and they have not been hindered in obtaining or maintaining tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3).

"The IRS not only erroneously forbade the Coalition for Life of Iowa from engaging in 'advocacy' as a section 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; they also never gave any explanation as to why their request was relevant," said Thomas Brejcha, president and chief counsel for TMS. ".... The IRS is protecting PP and harassing the Coalition for Life of Iowa."

TMS attorneys verify in their response that the Coalition for Life of Iowa has never engaged in any disruptive, violent or threatening action. Its activities, such as prayer meetings and events held to educate the public about sanctity of life issues, have been peaceful. As nearly all of its funds go toward education and the "advancement of religious beliefs," which falls under the definition of "charitable" under section 501(c)(3), the Coalition should thus be clearly eligible for immediate tax-exempt status from the IRS.

"By their own regulations, the IRS must take up a position of with respect to the beliefs advocated by an organization," said Brejcha. "If the IRS can discriminate against one non-profit based on its beliefs and religious affiliation, then the IRS could regulate the speech of any other non-profit organization."

All of this is very interesting, considering the fact that PP holds "nonprofit" status while making huge profits from abortion. Where is the IRS on that?