For years in Arizona, we’ve seen those who oppose our work at the Legislature turn to the courts to try and stop CAP-supported bills from taking effect.
Getting a bill through the House and Senate and signed by the Governor is not an easy process, but often it’s only half the battle. When groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) fail at subverting important pro-family or pro-life legislation, they file suit and demand that the courts undermine the work of the people’s representatives.
Take for instance the latest ACLU lawsuit against a CAP-supported bill that disqualifies donations to organizations that provide, promote, pay for, or provide referrals for abortion from being eligible for the working poor tax credit. This credit allows Arizonans to receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for donations to a small group of organizations.
The Working Poor Tax Credit was designed to benefit non-profit organizations that provide services to meet the immediate basic needs of our state’s working poor.
I think many people would agree abortion doesn’t fall under this category.
While abortion is still the law of the land due to Roe v Wade, states have the right to prefer promoting life over abortion – this means it is within their right to deny life-destroying organizations the benefit of this tax credit.
The ACLU is representing the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence in this case (as an aside, I’m sure many supporters of AzCADV would be shocked to learn they are fighting for the right to bring Planned Parenthood in for presentations to women at their shelters and to provide abortion referrals to women who are being abused).
The ACLU is arguing that somehow the AzCADV has a First Amendment right to push women to have abortions while remaining eligible for the tax credit.
There are just a few problems with this viewpoint…
- The U.S. Supreme Court has reiterated multiple times that the right to abortion does not encompass a right to force the State to pay for any woman’s abortion. The right of a physician or of any group to perform, promote, or provide referrals for abortion similarly does not include a right to force the State to support abortion in any way.
- The law does not prohibit any organization that otherwise qualifies for the credit from providing non-directive counseling to a woman about her pregnancy options, including abortion.
- There are thousands of non-profit organizations in Arizona, but less than 500 actually qualify for the Working Poor Tax Credit. No organization has a right to the tax credit.