Tax exemption for Planned Parenthood?

The usual collection of anti-life* organizations didn’t take long to bare their fangs at state Sen. William Brady after he was confirmed as the Republican nominee for Illinois governor.
In particularly harsh words for activists who pride themselves on their compassion, Illinois Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, Chicago-NOW, Personal PAC and Citizen Action Illinois labeled Brady “anti-woman” and pledged their support to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.
“When Bill Brady was certified,” said Planned Parenthood’s Beth
Kanter, “I literally shuddered at the notion of him in the governor’s
office. … His record demonstrates that he is anti-woman, anti-choice,
and that his views are, quite frankly, antediluvian.”

Skipping over the misuse of the word antediluvian for the sake of
alteration, Kanter’s participation in this hate-fest raises an old
question: the federal tax exempt status granted by the Internal Revenue
Service by to Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood, the “charitable” 501(c)(3) abortion organization,
and its political action arm, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (like
its raft of other political action committees) are legally and
technically separate organizations. So, the Mother Ship, Planned
Parenthood, can solicit tax-exempt contributions while conforming to the
law that prohibits religious, educational and other charitable
organizations from political campaigning. Like campaigning for Gov. Pat
Quinn and opposing Brady.

But the relationship between Mother Ship and its PAC affiliates is so
incestuous that they can’t be told apart unless you’re seriously
looking. And then, you can’t even be sure. Here’s an example:

Go to the web site of the Planned Parenthood Illinois affiliate,
which like the mother ship, is a 501(c))(3) organization, which under
the IRS rules cannot engage in campaigning. Prominently displayed on its
home page is a “Take Action” link, that’ll take you to its Planned
Parenthood Action Center, a 501(c)(4) entity, Kanter’s operation that
can campaign, but whose donors get no tax exemption. When you go to the
action center, a pop-up appears showing that you have left Planned
Parenthood of Illinois’ page and “are being redirected to a web site
operated by an independent 501(c)(4) entity.

On the action site, you’ll have to look around and you’ll find in
small type at the bottom of the page “about us.” It’ll say: “Planned
Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) is an independent, nonpartisan,
not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of
Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL).”

Confused yet? Where can you find the real meat? The site informs you:
“A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or
will be) available for purchase from the State Board of Elections,
Springfield, Illinois.” I don’t know why they can’t put the report on
the site instead of making you go to the trouble of finding it
elsewhere, and paying for it.
Look hard enough, and you’ll finally find: “Planned Parenthood Illinois
Action is a 501 C 4 not-for-profit organization. As such, gifts to PPIA

Obviously, the political arm of Planned Parenthood is using the cache
and access of the charitable parent organization to fund its political
campaign. It’s not usual for PACs to do so; you can find them in all
kinds of organizations.

Just how far tax-exempt organizations can go in sponsoring or linking to
political action committees is a fuzzy area. Remember how Jesse Jackson
repeated campaigned in African-American churches when he ran for
president? The practice continues today. Should those churches lose
their tax-exempt status?

The fact is, the tax-exempt Planned Parenthood of Illinois is
soliciting contributions for Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, and the
money goes into political campaigns. That’s the truth, no matter how
many pop-up screens and disclaimers that Planned Parenthood makes.

Kanter and her friends can jabber away all they want, and even
distort Brady’s record. But just like the abortions they want taxpayers
to fund, there’s no reason that everyone should be required to pay for
their anti-life rhetoric.

*I’m using “anti-life” here to mirror the snarling “anti-choice”
rhetoric they use to describe the pro-life cause. Fair is fair.

This column also appeared in the Chicago Daily Observer.


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  • These groups need to be exposed for the true hypocrites that they are. Whores for my money.If they are as noble as they pretend to be than go out and get there own funding.

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