More than 100 U.S. senators and representatives have signed a letter urging the Department of the Treasury to change IRS code so that abortion expenses are no longer tax deductible.
Under current IRS code, money paid for any legal abortion is tax-deductible as “medical care.”
The letter, signed by Sens. James Lankford (Okla.), Mike Braun (Ind.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Joni Ernst (Iowa) and others, was dated Aug. 12 and says the IRS “must cease considering abortions (except in the case of physical endangerment to the life of the mother) to be medical care” under IRS code. It was sent to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“Abortion is not health care,” the letter says.
The letter asserts that “when the deduction for medical care was first enacted in the Revenue Act of 1942,” abortion “was a crime in virtually every state.”
“However, shortly after Roe v. Wade, the IRS imposed on the then-three-decade-old statute a meaning of ‘medical care’ that would have been unthinkable” to the “Congress that enacted it,” the letter states.
“Any procedure for which a successful outcome depends on the death of a living human being, born or unborn, cannot be considered health care,” the senators and representatives say in the letter. “For this reason, the willful killing of an unborn child has for over two millennia been explicitly proscribed by the Hippocratic Oath as inherently contrary to the ethical practice of medicine.
“We write to urge you to take swift action to issue new regulations to protect innocent human life by ending tax breaks for abortion under the guise of medical care. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) should not consider abortions (except when the mother's life is physically endangered) to be medical care.”
The letter also urges the IRS not to “treat premiums for health insurance that covers such abortions as medical care, unless in compliance with the law's separate accounting requirements for coverage of non-medical care.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Napatcha
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.