WASHINGTON D.C. -A legal firm on Thursday sent a letter to a member of the U.S. Congress alleging continued IRS harassment of pro-life groups.
The Obama administration claimed the agency stopped targeting conservative and pro-life organizations. However, the Thomas More Society (TMS), a nonprofit firm in Chicago, reports that it has more than 250 pages of evidence that tells a different story.
â€œDespite claims to the contrary, the IRS continues to target and harass pro-life and conservative charities, illegally questioning their religious activities and withholding their tax exemptions,â€ said TMS Vice President and Senior Counsel Peter Breen. â€œWe have now produced irrefutable evidence of six clients whose First Amendment rights were trampled upon by the IRS because of their position upholding the sanctity of life.â€
TMS submitted the documents to Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill, a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means. The law firm says that six groups have experienced view-point discrimination since 2009 from IRS offices and agents, including those in El Monte, Calif., Chicago, and Cincinnati.
The memo also outlines several pro-life organizationsâ€™ recent experiences when applying for nonprofit status, 501(c)(3). TMS said that IRS agents revealed â€œblatant biasâ€ while processing these applications. The groups were asked about time spent in prayer at abortion facilities, and told they must educate and advocate abortion from both sides of the issue, according to the legal group.
In May, TMS disclosed evidence of IRS harassment of Cherish Life Ministries, LIFE Group and Emerald Coast Coalition for Life. Attorneys have intervened and secured relief for the first two, but Emerald Coast is still â€œin limbo,â€ according to the legal firm.
The Society has since received numerous contacts from organizations seeking legal counsel because IRS issues.
â€œEven after public disclosure of this wrongdoing, the Obama administrationâ€™s IRS has refused to cease its illegal activity,â€ Breen explained. â€œWe will continue to aid Congress in its investigation until those responsible are brought to justice and the IRS is made to respect every Americanâ€™s constitutional rights.â€