The Trump Administration Should Halt Tax Breaks for Abortions

July 20, 2020
Washington, DC

Conservatives call on President Trump to direct the Department of Treasury to issue new regulations to clarify that abortions (except when the mother’s life is physically endangered) cannot constitute medical care under §213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code).

By extension, the IRS should stop considering premiums for medical insurance that covers such abortions to be medical care without complying with the separate accounting requirements under §213(d)(6) for coverage of non-medical care.

The IRS’ abortion distortion dates back to a 1973 decision by IRS bureaucrats, soon after Roe v. Wade, to reinterpret the 1942 statutory definition of “medical care” in the Code to include abortions (Rev. Rul. 73-201 (1973)). This interpretation would have been unthinkable to the 77th Congress that enacted the law, at a time when abortion was illegal in virtually every state. Into the present day, this 1973 ruling allows tax breaks for abortions through the medical expenses deduction as well as through health flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, and other tax-preferred health accounts and tax breaks that incorporate §213(d)’s definition of “medical care”.

The IRS’ treatment of abortion as medical care is wrongheaded and contrary to the law. Firstly, abortion is an elective procedure that has nothing to do with “the prevention or alleviation of a physical or mental defect or illness” as the longstanding governing regulations require, drawn from Congressional intent established in the legislative history (Treas. Reg. §1.213-1(e)(1)(ii)).

Secondly, abortion is primarily and directly for the purpose of destroying the body of an unborn child, who has her own unique DNA. The statutory text, however, encompasses a single body, that is, only the one for whom the intervention is primarily intended (c.f. Morrissey v. United States, 871 F.3d 1260 (11th Cir. 2017), and also includes interventions specific to an unborn child (c.f. Kilpatrick v. Commissioner, 68 T.C. 469 (1977)). Thus, the secondary effects of an abortion on the mother’s body cannot be taken into account as medical care for her.

The Trump administration has gone further than any in recent memory in furthering the cause of life. We urge President Trump to cement this pro-life legacy by ending tax breaks for abortion as medical care.


Alfred S. Regnery
Chairman, Conservative Action Project
President, Republic Book Publishers
Penny Y. Nance
President & CEO
Concerned Women for America
Tom McClusky
President
March for Life Action
Mary Vought
Executive Director
Senate Conservatives Fund
Kelly J. Shackelford, Esq.
Chairman, CNP Action, Inc.
President and CEO, First Liberty Institute
L. Brent Bozell, III
Founder and President
Media Research Center
The Honorable Becky Norton Dunlop
White House Advisor
President Ronald Reagan (1981-1985)
The Honorable Donald Paul Hodel
U.S. Secretary of Energy (1982-1985)
U.S. Secretary of Interior (1985-1989)
Cleta Mitchell, Esq.
Partner
Foley & Lardner LLP
Christopher Malagisi
Executive Director of Outreach
Hillsdale College
William L. Walton
President
Council for National Policy
The Honorable Morton C. Blackwell
President
The Leadership Institute
Kristan Hawkins
President
Students for Life of America & Students for Life Action
The Honorable Jim DeMint
Chairman, Conservative Partnership Institute
Member, US Senate (SC 2005-2013)
Ed Corrigan
Vice Chairman, Conservative Action Project
President, Conservative Partnership Institute
Rachel Bovard
Senior Director of Policy
Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI)
The Honorable Tony Perkins
President
Family Research Council
David Bozell
President
ForAmerica
The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell
Chairman
Constitutional Congress, Inc.
The Honorable Bob McEwen
U.S. House of Representatives
Former Member, Ohio
The Honorable Colin A. Hanna
President
Let Freedom Ring, Inc.
The Honorable T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.
Chief Domestic Advisor
President Ronald Reagan (1987-1988)
James C. Dobson, Ph.D.
Founder & President
Dr. James Dobson Family Institute
Eunie Smith
President Emeritus
Eagle Forum
Michelle Easton
President
Clare Boothe Luce Center for Conservative Women
The Honorable Gary L. Bauer
President
American Values
Dr. Roy Stringfellow
Physician
Advanced Gynecology
The Honorable Penny Pullen
President
Life Advocacy Resource Project
Cathie Adams
1st VP
Eagle Forum
Joan Holt Lindsey
President
Lindsey Communications
Kielle C. Horton
President
The Lindsey Foundation
Ralph Benko
Chairman
The Capitalist League
Rod D. Martin
Founder & CEO
The Martin Organization, Inc.
Sherri R. Martin
Executive Vice President
The Martin Organization, Inc.
Haley E. Martin
President
The Martin Foundation
Christina Murphy Lusk
Campaign for the American Future
Guillermo J. Aragon
Chief Financial Officer
Martin Imaging, Inc.
Shawn A. Mitchell
Former National Chaplain
National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Kathleen Patten
President & CEO
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Gary Marx
President
Madison Strategies LLC
Gabriel Joseph
Founder
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Dr. Mark A. Smith
President
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Jay Mount
President
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Richard Wright
Owner
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Brian S. Brown
President
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Andresen Blom
President
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Marc Little
Chair
Center for Urban Renewal and Education
Paavo Ensio
Chairman
Universal Minerals Group
Judson Phillips
Founder
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Chad Connelly
President
Faith Wins
Kent Glesener
President
Paradigm Construction & Engineering Inc
Seton Motley
President
Less Government
William Shaker
CEO
Washington Marketing Group
Dr. Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO
CorsiNation.com
Charlie Copeland
President
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Marlin Sharp
Field Director
STAND Foundation, Inc.
C. Preston Noell III
President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
Richard Rounsavelle
Trustee
MRC
Khadine Ritter
President
Eagle Forum of Ohio
Robert Keith Fischer
Meeting Coordinator
Conservatives of Faith
Mike Davis
Former Chief Counsel for Nominations to Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Saulius “Saul” Anuzis
President
60 Plus Association
Dean B. Nelson
Executive Director
Human Coalition Action
James L. Martin
Founder/Chairman
60 Plus Association
Peggy Dau
Representative
IranAlive Ministries
Ron Robinson
President
Young America’s Foundation
Jake Hoffman
President & CEO
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The Honorable Peter J. Thomas
Chairman
The Conservative Caucus
Floyd Brown
Publisher
The Western Journal
Dr. Paige Patterson
President
Sandy Creek Foundation
Allen Hébert
Chairman
American-Chinese Fellowship of Houston
Willes K. Lee
President
National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Richard D. Hayes
Partner
Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant, LLP
Daniel Perrin
Founder
HSA Coalition
Father Frank Pavone
National Director
Priests for Life
Ron Pearson
Executive Director
Conservative Victory Fund
Mario Navarro da Costa
Director, Washington Bureau
Tradition, Family, Property
Joseph A. Morris
Partner, Morris & De La Rosa
General Counsel, US Office of Personnel Management (Reagan Admin.)
Martha Boneta
Vote America First
Elaine Donnelly
President
Center for Military Readiness
Robert Thompson
Former Administrator
The Weyrich Lunch (1999-2016)
Justin Danhof
General Counsel
National Center for Public Policy Research
Dr. Virginia Armstrong
National Court Watch Chrm.
Eagle Forum
Glenn Preston Story
Founder & President
Patriot Mobile
Cindy Honcoop
State Director
Washington Eagle Forum
Rick Scarborough
President
Recover America Now
Lee Beaman
CEO
Beaman Automotive Group
E.C. Sykes
General Partner
Aslan Ventures
Tim Wildmon
President
American Family Association
William W. Pascoe, III
Board Member
Tea Party Patriots Action
Gerard Kassar
State Chairman
NYS Conservative Party
The Honorable Scott Cooper
Chairman
Edgefield County Council, South Carolina
Jeremy Cerone
CEO
EliteSafe Inc.
Amapola Hansberger
President
Legal Immigrants for America
Melvin Adams
President
Noah Webster Educational Foundation
Kay R. Daly
President
Coalition for a Fair Judiciary
The Honorable Mike Hill
Representative
Florida State House
The Honorable Terrence Scanlon
Member 1983-89; chairman 1985-89
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Melissa Kaye Ortiz
Principal
DCBelleonWheels.com
Steve Berger
Pastor
Grace Chapel
Bob Carlstrom
President
AMAC Action

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