Chicago, Ill., Aug 7, 2009 / 00:38 am
Following allegations that the Coalition for Life of Iowa’s approval as a tax exempt organization was being withheld by officials who wanted the group to refrain from protesting at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, the Internal Revenue Service has granted tax exempt status to the pro-life group.
The IRS had reportedly sought “details” about the content of Coalition for Life members’ prayers at a Planned Parenthood facility. The IRS had also demanded that it refrain both from activities that could be construed as protesting or picketing by police and from activities that could be seen as confrontational or harassing by abortion-seeking clients.
The IRS also insisted that “every member of the board of directors of the Coalition sign a statement, under penalty of perjury, that they will not picket or protest or organize others to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood,” reported the Thomas More Society, the Chicago-based public interest law firm which made the legal challenge on behalf of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based group.
The Thomas More Society characterized the IRS’ questions as “prejudicial” and threatened legal action.