How Is Planned Parenthood Still a 501(c)(3)?


“Planned Parenthood, as it turns out, has violated 501(c)(3) Federal Law by opposing candidates in public statements,” writes Sean Elijah Le Van, an undergrad student at Columbia University. (God, he must be miserable there.)  “This should cause them to lose their tax-exempt status, reserved for churches and charities,” he argues, pointing out that “The Church at Pierce Creek lost their tax-exempt status in 1993 over opposing President Clinton.”


Le Van sent me his research into the situation, which he said I could reproduce in this space. Since he makes a sound argument, I’m sharing it with you here (lightly edited for PJ Media readers):

Planned Parenthood possesses the title of 501(c)(3), a classification conferred to nonprofits and churches, among other entities. The organization, with a net worth of $2 billion, receives tax breaks as a result. Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in America, and routinely faces criticism by pro-life organizations for its mass abortions, including late-term abortions. …

As a 501(c)(3), Planned Parenthood falls under the jurisdiction of Title 26 of the United States Code of Laws, section 501, subsection c(3). The statute specifies that a 501(c)(3) “does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” According to an IRS webpage, intervention in a political campaign “indirectly” or “directly” is expressly prohibited.

Nonetheless, says Le Van, “Planned Parenthood has expressed vocal and written opposition to President Trump and his administration, as well as other Republicans, during active campaigns.” He then links to two of what he says are many such instances. In the first example, dated Nov. 29, 2015, the abortion giant singles out Republican candidates Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, and Ted Cruz for harsh criticism.


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The second example is a press release dated during Trump’s reelection campaign. In it, Planned Parenthood hyperventilates, “Today, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump’s policy barring transgender people from serving in the military to take effect while litigation challenging the ban continues. This ban places the health and lives of transgender people in jeopardy and limits their access to medically necessary care.” …Because that’s what the military is for: to provide cross-sex medical and social support to disturbed people. Can you see my eyes rolling? There’s more, but you get the gist.

That sure sounds like “publishing or distributing of statements” during a “political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” I’d say Le Van has a point.

He observes, “According to the pages on which the above-mentioned public statements are published, the attributed source for these releases is the Planned Parenthood Federation of America:”

Two major organizations bear the name of Planned Parenthood: Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. The laws governing these two with respect to political activity are distinct. Planned Parenthood’s political activism arm, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, is allowed to make statements on the basis of its 501(c)(4) “social welfare organization” classification. The 501(c)(3), the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, is not. As such, the publication of such statements appears to run afoul of the 501(c)(3) statute.

While allowed some lobbying expenditures under subsection 501(h) of the Title 26 of the United States Code of Laws, Planned Parenthood is prohibited from making statements in favor or in opposition of candidates according to the IRS. The IRS website specifies that “public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.” One consequence of such activity is thus clarified: “Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.”


Sadly, that’s where this tale ends. Our hyper-politicized IRS will do no such thing. It’s too busy raiding gun shops and seizing purchaser records so it knows who to torment to do things like enforce the statute against its allies.

But for those of us who still dream of a day when the United States will return to her senses, it’s worthwhile to keep pointing out these offenses. Thank you to Mr. Le Van for helping us keep our eyes fixed on what’s right.


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