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Killing is not care

Members of Congress call for an end to tax breaks for abortion

Sen. Mike Braun Associated Press/Photo by Al Drago (file)

Killing is not care

More than 100 pro-life congressional lawmakers sent a letter on Wednesday urging U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to drop a rule that makes abortions eligible for tax breaks.

Congress added a deduction for medical expenses to the tax code in 1942. At the time, “abortion was a crime in virtually every state,” the letter notes. The Internal Revenue Service included abortion as a tax-deductible medical procedure when Congress changed the language to the code after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that led to the legalization of abortion nationwide in 1973.

“Abortion is not health care,” 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.”

IRS regulations stipulate that tax-deductible “medical care” includes only expenses put toward preventing or alleviating physical or mental illnesses. The senators and representatives asked Mnuchin to end tax breaks for abortion except when a mother’s life is in danger, a situation they said occurs “rarely, if ever.’’

Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., and Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, led the coalition of signers. They also asked the Department of Treasury to enforce the existing requirement that health insurers bill abortions separately from medical care. Failure to do so should make their insurance premiums ineligible for tax deductions. The signers argued that Congress should eventually exclude abortion from healthcare coverage altogether but added that “enforcing the law’s separate accounting requirements is an important intermediary step.”

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Leah Savas

Leah reports on pro-life topics for WORLD Magazine and WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Hillsdale College graduate. Leah resides in Grand Rapids, Mich., with her husband, Stephen.



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