Abortion audits

First of all, this particular bill will never pass. It’s just the kind of red meat that wingnuts like to throw to the wackiest members of their hungry base, and the Senate won’t pass it. But it’s important to understand the way their minds work: Namely, that it’s very, very important that men keep a very tight rein on women. And if they could pass a bill like this, of course they would!

Because, as PZ Myers recently wrote about Newt Gingrich and family values:

Our ideal is a community of equals, while theirs is a hierarchy of power, a relic of Old Testament values in which marrying a woman was like buying a camel, a certification of ownership, and nothing must compromise the Big Man’s possession of properties.

If we strip marriage of the asymmetry of power, as we must if we allow men to marry men and women to marry women, then we also strip away the man and wife, dominant and submissive, owner and owned, master and servant relationship that characterizes the conservative view of marriage. This is what they want to preserve, and this is what they are talking about when people like Gingrich echo those tired phrases about “Judeo-Christian values” and complain that their “civilization is under attack”. And it is, when we challenge their right to treat one partner, so-called, as chattel.

And once you look at it that way, you see no abuse of their values when Gingrich goes tomcatting around—he’s simply asserting his traditional privilege as the Man.

Paradoxically, though, it turns marriage into a brittle business where women are stressed by subservience and oppression (believe it or not, women are human beings who might resent being treated as servants), and men feel it is their right to possess any woman willing to surrender to them. It’s not surprising that their relationships break up in courtroom battles.

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.

The proposed law, also known as H.R. 3, extends the reach of the Hyde Amendment—which bans federal funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at stake—into many parts of the federal tax code. In some cases, the law would forbid using tax benefits—like credits or deductions—to pay for abortions or health insurance that covers abortion. If an American who used such a benefit were to be audited, Barthold said, the burden of proof would lie with the taxpayer to provide documentation, for example, that her abortion fell under the rape/incest/life-of-the-mother exception, or that the health insurance she had purchased did not cover abortions.

“Were this to become law, people could end up in an audit, the subject of which could be abortion, rape, and incest,” says Christopher Bergin, the head of Tax Analysts, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit tax policy group. “If you pass the law like this, the IRS would be required to enforce it.”

Yep. Aside from the sheer repressive evil of these laws, it’s illustrative of so much more. Women aren’t partners, they don’t have brains (or souls), and conservative men will continue to trade these compliant females in for newer, shiner models. See any connection there?

2 thoughts on “Abortion audits

  1. “It’s just the kind of red meat that wingnuts like to throw to the wackiest members of their hungry base, …”

    Maybe if they would stop throwing red meat to them they’d start eating each other and that would solve that little pesky.

  2. And to your nice post, isn’t there some law against wasting our time with these ridiculous proposed bills? It’s just crazy. I wonder how much money it cost for them to go through with this inanity.

Comments are closed.