IRS accused of challenging prayers outside Planned Parenthood

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Leaders of conservative groups have told Congress they were abused by the Internal Revenue Service for years as they sought tax-exempt status, including questions an anti-abortion group said it got about prayer meetings outside Planned Parenthood.

Sue Martinek, president of the Coalition for Life of Iowa, testified at Tuesday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing that the IRS asked about the content of their prayers and demanded that they promise not to demonstrate outside Planned Parenthood.

She said, “As Christians, we knew we needed to pray for a better solution to unplanned pregnancy than abortion. Why not at the source?”

The chairman of another group, the National Organization for Marriage, said the IRS disclosed confidential information about its donors to a gay rights group. George Eastman said he thought the IRS’s release of that information was designed to intimidate its contributors.

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