In Michigan, Feminists Squawk at Proposed Tax Break for Fetuses

Michigan lawmakers are considering a tax break for expectant parents—but the National Organization of Women objects.

On Tuesday, November 20, Michigan state legislators held a hearing on House Bills 5684 and 5685.  The bills, if passed, would “allow taxpayers to claim a dependency exemption for a fetus that has completed at least 12 weeks of gestation as of the last day of the tax year, and that has been under the care and observation of a physician since at least 12 weeks of gestation.” 

State Representative Jud Gilbert (R-Algonac), co-sponsor of the bill with Rep. Lisa Posthumus (R-Alto), cites the additional costs accrued by a pregnant woman, and notes that the extra dollars in the pregnant woman’s pocket could be used for “doctor’s visits and all kinds of things.”   

According to Gilbert, the measure simply extends what is already in place to grant Michigan parents up to $160 in savings.

But reducing taxes to help new parents to purchase medical care, cribs, diapers and onesies outrages the feminists. 

Mary Pollock, legislative vice president of NOW’s Michigan chapter, complained,

“In our view these bills are an attempt to give some legal recognition to the unborn in tax law, which would then be used as a reason to give legal recognition to the unborn in other contexts such as in criminal law or in health law.”

She views this initiative as a back-door attempt to try to ban or limit abortions in the future, by giving legal recognition to the unborn in tax law.

Militant pro-abortion feminist Erin Gloria Ryan, who has described herself as “Jezebel’s resident juvenile abortion sophist”, shrieked at the thought of helping a young family along in this way.

The “we care about women” charade from the GOP is starting to get embarrassing. Like they’re Wile E. Coyote, ordering stupid crap legislation from Acme or Americans United for Life, and abortion rights are the Roadrunner, meep meeping along as the Coyote accidentally blows himself up dozens of times with Personhood bombs that backfire.

And then there’s feminist blogger Amanda Marcotte, whose work has been described in Time magazine as “wonkish” and “provocative and profanity-laced.”  Misunderstanding the recent changes in Michigan’s tax law to eliminate the state-sponsored Earned Income Tax Credit (but not the larger federal tax credit ), Marcotte defended her right not to help the childbearing woman in a screed on Slate.com:

“This bill really demonstrates the exciting new extremist direction of anti-choice nuttery….  Clearly, the only solution here is for women to simply stay pregnant.  But medical science tells us that, barring some futuristic cryogenic fetus-preserving technology, those pesky and unruly female bodies tend to complete the incubation stage at a predictable pace, turning adorable, tax-exempt fetuses into stupid old money-sucking babies with the never-ending health care and nutrition needs.”

ACTUALLY, THAT’S JUST NOT SO.

Representative Gilbert disagreed that the bill seeks to get a foot in the door to limiting abortions.  Gilbert notes that we’ve already done that in criminal issues:  If you harm a pregnant woman and the fetus is also harmed, you have two counts against you.  One Michigan law, for example, calls for punishment in cases when a “person intended to cause a miscarriage or stillbirth by that individual or death or great bodily harm to the embryo or fetus.”  Another existing law imposes penalties in cases where a reckless driver causes a traffic accident involving a pregnant woman and the accident results in a miscarriage.”

The bill had been expected to advance to the House Tax Policy Committee on Monday, but has been pulled from the agenda after several lawmakers said that they were not yet ready to vote on the legislation.  If it does obtain approval from the Committee and if the Legislature passes it into law, Michigan will apparently become the first state to recognize the unborn in its tax codes.

UPDATE:  Oh, and with regard to the feared “increased tax liability” for Michigan families:  Republicans have been rushing to implement reductions which would replace the tax benefits of the Earned Income Tax Credit.  The Legislature has already approved a measure which reduces the state tax rate from 4.35 percent to 4.25 percent, allowing it to take effect October 1.  A second bill, which has been approved by the Michigan House but not yet in the Senate, would lower the tax rate to 3.9 percent by 2018.

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