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No Taxpayer Funding on Abortion Act

Location: Washington, DC


Madam Speaker, if a proposal were brought to the House floor that said the following, ``If an American makes a charitable contribution and takes a deduction on his income tax return, that we're going to disallow the charitable deduction if the group that's receiving the money promotes gun ownership, gun rights or gun education,'' I suspect it would not get one vote on the Republican side of the aisle, and it shouldn't get any votes on the Democratic side of the aisle because it's wrong and it's probably unconstitutional.

That is exactly what the underlying bill does here. It says that an American exercising his or her constitutional right, in this case her constitutional right, with their own money, will suffer a negative tax consequence because the majority wants them to.

Understand this. If an American woman, with her own money, chooses to exercise her constitutional right, she will be suffering an increase in taxes as a result of making this decision. I scarcely say that anyone on the majority side would agree that if we picked one of their favorite social issues and said we're going to raise taxes on people who engage in that social issue, much less than a constitutional right, that they would agree with this.

This is not a debate about abortion. This is a debate about privacy. It's a debate about individual liberty and the right of people to do what they choose with their own money, particularly when they're enforcing one of their own constitutional rights.

I would also say for the record, it's my understanding that if this bill is carried out, a person who is a minor who is a victim of statutory rape may not be able to avail herself of her constitutional rights with her family's own money.


I know very well, Madam Speaker, that people feel passionately about the right to life and the right to choose, and this is the forum in which that debate ought to take place. But using the Internal Revenue Code to either punish or reward certain social conduct, particularly conduct that is in the exercise of a constitutional right, is wrong, and if anyone on the majority side would like to tell me that they would vote for that NRA provision, I welcome that. I wouldn't, because it's an impermissible, unconstitutional burden on the constitutional rights of Americans. So is this.


Members who are pro-life or pro-choice should oppose this bill because it does violence to the Constitution. This bill purports to say that through the Tax Code, we can favor or disfavor the exercise of constitutional rights.

That's not right, and that's not constitutional. The Members on the majority side would certainly not support, nor would I, a provision that says you can't take a charitable contribution to support a group that lobbies in favor of pro-life causes. But if we wanted to disfavor that point of view in the Tax Code, this is the way we would do it. There is no difference between what the majority's doing here and that odious provision that I just described.

It is wrong to raise taxes on people who exercise their constitutional rights because they've chosen to exercise their constitutional rights. Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, if you are pro-Constitution, you should vote ``no.''


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