By Robert Pittenger
For decades, American taxpayers have unknowingly provided tax breaks that help lower the cost of building new abortion clinics.
The 1976 Hyde Amendment forbids the use of federal funds to pay for abortion. However, a loophole in the tax code allows abortion providers to use special tax-exempt bonds to finance construction of abortion clinics. The tax break lowers the cost of the bond, which is ultimately backed by hardworking American taxpayers.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, has repeatedly used this loophole.
In 2012, Planned Parenthood financed major renovations on their national headquarters with a tax-free, taxpayer-subsidized $15 million municipal bond. Abortion facilities in several other states, including Massachusetts, Florida, and Illinois, have also been financed with these “abortion bonds.”
These special tax-exempt bonds are intended to be used for construction of hospitals, schools, roads and other projects, which fulfill critical government functions and support the common good. Abortion does not fit this category. Using these special bonds for abortion facilities effectively diverts much-needed money away from essential public works projects.
While the full extent is unknown, the use of tax-exempt bonds has gifted abortion providers with significantly lower costs when financing construction of abortion clinics.
Tax-exempt bonds cost the federal government billions of dollars. These bonds are intended to support infrastructure projects. Their use for abortion facilities is wrong and a blatant abuse of your tax dollars.
As a Christian, father and grandfather, I believe life begins at conception and that abortion is a moral travesty. Millions of Americans similarly hold deep religious and moral convictions about abortion. These hardworking taxpayers should never be forced to pay for the willful termination of an innocent life.
Our position is not a radical stance. In fact, a 2016 Knights of Columbus/Marist poll found that 62 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion, including those who consider themselves pro-choice.
At a time when many of my constituents and millions of other hardworking Americans are forced to face tough financial decisions to make ends meet, it’s unconscionable that the federal government would provide Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers with taxpayer-funded subsidies and preferential tax treatment.
That’s why this week, I introduced the No Abortion Bonds Act, a bipartisan bill that ends taxpayer-subsidized, tax-exempt bonds for abortion providers. My important pro-life legislation is co-sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of over 50 members of Congress and is endorsed by North Carolina Right to Life, North Carolina Family Policy Council, March for Life, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Americans United for Life, and several other pro-life, pro-family organizations.
My bill will ensure the spirit of the Hyde Amendment is enforced in the tax code. This legislation will end another taxpayer subsidy of the abortion industry.
The No Abortion Bonds Act includes exemptions for facilities that only perform abortions in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother. We also include a common sense exemption for hospitals.
Not every American shares my longstanding commitment to the “right to life” and speaking up for innocent babies who cannot defend themselves. However, I believe we all can agree that taxpayers shouldn’t provide subsidies to construct abortion clinics, and this week, I took action to make that law.