Sen. Boxer Against Turning IRS into ‘Health Care Policeman’

By Dan Joseph | April 8, 2011 | 5:00 AM EDT

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

( -- Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said she is opposed to using the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a “health care policeman.”

Boxer, who made the statements on Thursday at the “Stand Up for Women's Health" rally in Washington, D.C., sponsored by Planned Parenthood and several other pro-abortion organizations, was speaking in reference to H.R. 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”

That bill, currently being considered in the House of Representatives, would make permanent the Hyde Amendment restrictions on federal funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or a threat to the life of the mother, and would also prohibit people from taking tax deductions for payments made for abortions except in those circumstances.

“We say no to another extreme bill,” said Boxer, speaking before the supportive crowd of pro-abortion activists.  “Listen to this one -- would put the IRS in the middle of a personal or private decision by requiring millions of women who have had an abortion to disclose it to tax auditors.  We say ‘no.’  We are not turning the IRS into a health care policeman.”

In the bill's text, the reference to the IRS reads as follows: "For taxable years beginning after the date of the enactment of this section-- (1) no credit shall be allowed under the internal revenue laws with respect to amounts paid or incurred for an abortion or with respect to amounts paid or incurred for a health benefits plan (including premium assistance) that includes coverage of abortion ...."

While Boxer is supportive of keeping the IRS out of health care in instances involving abortion, she is in favor of Obamacare’s individual mandate to buy health insurance, under which the IRS would be responsible for fining individuals if they do not carry health insurance, beginning in 2014.

The Hyde Amendment, first enacted in 1976 and named after the late Republican Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois, is attached each year to the annual appropriations bills, and it prevents any programs funded by those bills from paying for abortions except in the cases of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother is at risk.