It has happened in Florida, Illinois, and Massachusetts, just to name a few states. One Republican congressman says that's where federal taxpayers subsidized construction of abortion clinics through multi-million dollar tax exempt municipal bonds.
Now Congressman Robert Pittenger, R-NC, has introduced a bill aimed at closing a loophole that allows abortion providers to use federal tax free bonds to build their abortion clinics.
"Under a loophole in the current law, cities, counties, and states can issue federally tax-free bonds to finance construction of abortion clinics," Pittenger said in a speech on the House floor. "These tax-free bonds are intended to finance schools, hospitals, and infrastructure, not abortion clinics. This legislation applies the spirit of the Hyde Amendment to the tax code, by preventing tax-free bonds from going to abortion providers."
According to Pittenger, these bonds give tax breaks to the investors that end up costing the government billions in revenue and lead to lower costs for the borrower.
The No Abortion Bonds Act would prohibit abortion providers from marketing these tax free bonds. The bill currently has more than 50 members of Congress co-sponsoring it, including Democrat Dan Lipinski, D-Illinois.
It turns out Planned Parenthood has been a big user of these tax loopholes.
"In New York City, they built their National Headquarters selling tax free bonds," Pittenger told CBN News. "That won't happen anymore."
Pittenger lists the following examples on his website:
- In 2012, New York City issued a tax-free, $15 million bond for renovation of Planned Parenthood’s national headquarters.
- In 2007, Sarasota County, Florida floated an $8 million, tax-free bond to pay for a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.
- In 2007, the Illinois Finance Authority approved an $8.05 million tax-free bond to pay for a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Aurora.
- In 2006, the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency granted a $5 million tax-exempt bond for a Planned Parenthood clinic in Worcester.
Pittenger says he'd like to see his bill added onto the tax reform plan, but thinks Republican leadership will likely steer clear of adding any extra measures to the bill that could possibly hold up the tax plan.
"I know there's real commitment to make sure the tax reform bill gets passed, so they don't want a lot of whistles and bells added," says Pittenger. "This is more than that, this is very serious, but not withstanding that I think we have good support as a stand-alone bill."