A Christian man refused to pay his taxes because some of his tax dollars go to fund abortions, claiming that to do so violates his religious principles.
“I don’t believe I have broken any laws as I have a duty (and right) to protect my conscience and to ‘practice’ religion freely,” Michael Bowman wrote in a declaration filed in court, according to Oregon Live. Officials charged Bowman with federal tax evasion and is fighting for his right not to pay.
He explain in his legal documents that if a woman has the right to do what she wills with her body and the baby inside of her, then he should be able to choose as well. The state should allow him to choose not to support a practice he disagrees with without retaliation, he claims.
Bowman charges that according to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, he should be exempt from paying taxes in Oregon, because some of that money will go to fund a practice that his religion vehemently opposes. “A woman has the right to choose but apparently the prosecutor feels I do not have a right to choose,” Bowman wrote in the legal brief.
“He wants to pay taxes but until the government stops promoting the murder of babies with his income taxes, he cannot pay,” his lawyer, Matthew Schindler, wrote in a motion, asking the court to drop the tax evasion charges against his client.
“The very moment, the instant that his money is no longer being used to promote murder, he will gladly pay every cent he owes to the government,” Schindler added.
Others have tried Bowman’s argument in the past, however, and have been unsuccessful.
“This is a losing claim,” said Notre Dame tax law professor, Lloyd Mayer, Oregon Live reports.
Oregon has some of the loosest laws regarding abortion restrictions in the country. Oregonian women can have an abortion for any reason up until birth and health insurers must foot the cost of the procedures via the Reproductive Health Equity Act. The measure, passed in August, requires health insurers to provide birth control and abortion without charge, and even sets aside state funds for noncitizens.
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