An Oregon man will not be punished for refusing to pay his taxes because he does not want his money to go toward funding abortions.
Christian Michael Bowman of Columbia city, a self-employed computer software developer, has refused to pay income taxes or file tax returns for more than two decades, owing at least $800,000 in back taxes, according to the Herald.
Bowman said he is responsible to his conscience and does not want to fund abortions.
“It’s unfair to Christians that actually care about their fellow human beings,” Bowman said. “It’s unfair when it impacts their conscience. We don’t force people to do what we think and the very definition of freedom is, we all should be free to do what we want to do, as long as it’s not attacking other people, and they’re definitely attacking us.”
He faced misdemeanor charges for willful failure to file a return and was also initially charged with felony tax evasion.
However, the case against Bowman ended in a mistrial last Friday in federal court. After 11 hours of deliberating, the jury could not come to a verdict in the case, according to the report.
His attorney, Matthew Schindler, said the IRS did not take action against his client for almost 20 years. He said this led his client to believe that the IRS made an exception for his deeply-held religious views.
However, because of the mistrial, the government will have to refile charges against him. His lawyer told the local news that they are scheduled to meet with the judge later this week.
“They want to make sure that everyone knows you can’t object to abortion and not pay your taxes, and it concerns me as a taxpayer because at the end of the day who cares if Mr. Bowman doesn’t file a form if the government’s out doing its job, which is to clean out his bank account, take his car, and collect taxes,” Schindler said.
The deepest reason why Bowman did not pay the tax was when he was young, his girlfriend got pregnant and was forced to abort their unborn child without him unable to stop it.
“So, I’m not saying taxes are illegal, I believe they are and I think that if the government would just sit down and accommodate me under the law, as I’ve asked for, this problem would’ve been solved a long time ago, a long time ago. They just are very stubborn, they don’t want to do it,” he said.
Bowman lives in Oregon, one of 16 states that forces its taxpayers to pay for elective abortions through its medical assistance program. Nationwide, taxpayers also give about half a billion dollars to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in the United States.