IRS

IRS by alykat, on Flickr

Another step towards smaller, less intrusive government, courtesy of the libertarian-minded teabagger-dominated House majority: Internal Revenue Service agents will be required to determine whether your abortion was paid for with tax dollars. Even more horrifying, income tax return filing forms may need to ask if you’d had an abortion and how you paid for it.

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?

The absurdly redundant ‘forcible rape’ language since stripped from this bill, sure to pass the House, was a Trojan horse. The remaining legislation is the most sweeping assault on women’s reproductive health ever undertaken by Congress.

“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.”

Speaker John Boehner has declared this bill to be a top priority of the new GOP Congress. Can you find the jobs agenda in this bill, except possibly the need to hire more IRS auditors to review women’s tax returns and inquire about how their abortion was paid for? Or whether parents paid for a daughter’s abortion with pre-tax health savings accounts?

That’s right — you can’t even use your own health savings account, set aside from pre-tax earnings, to fund an abortion under the bill:

Not everyone has “contemporaneous written documentation” that a pregnancy was the result of rape or incest. And, as Owens notes, adults sometimes pay for abortions for their children. If H.R. 3 becomes law, parents could face IRS questions about whether they spent pre-tax money from health savings accounts on abortions for their kids. “It would seem there would have to be a question about that [in an audit] and maybe even a question on the tax return,” Owens says.

Margaret Atwood was right: all uteri are state property. Yours is just on loan to you.