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Local Group Targeted By IRS Speaks Out

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- When Susan Martinek took her request to become a tax exempt agency to the IRS in 2009, she couldn't believe their response.

"That if we wanted to have the 501(c)3 status application go through, that we would have to sign off saying that we would not protest outside planned parenthood," Susan said.

Susan is president of a pro-life group called Coalition For Life Of Iowa.

She spent time with lawyers going through the process of becoming a non-profit, when the IRS agent said it wasn't going to happen unless the board signed.

"It's not right. We should be able to do -- it's a free country -- what we want. Free speech. Unfortunately, they were trying to control us," Susan said.

The group sought legal help, and in 2009, was granted tax exempt status.

"Thank God for them, because otherwise, we probably would have signed off," Susan said.

The firm representing Coalition For Life Of Iowa released their own statement about the recent IRS scandal:

"It's high time that the IRS be called to account for its workers' potential to trample on our constitutional rights," said Sally Wagenmaker, Special Counsel for Thomas More Society.

The recent investigation is focused on the IRS targeting groups in 2011 and 2012.

With her fight even further behind her, Susan said her situation may only be the tip of the iceberg.

"If a government entity tries to force you to do something you know is not right, to get help, and don't take it," Susan said.

The Thomas More Society is a non-profit group of lawyers that help other groups like Coalition For Life Of Iowa for free.

We spoke with the firm on the phone Thursday, and they said so far, there are no plans to seek legal recourse.
 
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