Michigan Republicans Push for Tax Breaks for Fetuses

One of the jokes I have often made about so-called personhood amendments is that if you give a fertilized egg full rights as a person, you should get to claim them on your taxes, too.

Suddenly, that joke is a lot less funny.

Michigan Republicans are now pushing a bill that would grant a tax credit to any fetus proven to be at least 12 weeks along by December 31st. Calling it an “advance” on the actual tax break the family would receive the next calendar year, the GOP frames the financial help as a chance to offset expenses with pregnancy.

MLive reports:

“You’re recognizing the fact that people have additional expenses, another person to take care of,” [bill sponsor Rep. Jud] Gilbert said of the rationale behind allowing fetuses to be claimed as income tax exemptions. “Money saved there could be contributed to doctor’s bills and all kinds of things.”

The bill, if it passed, would provide about $160 per family and would cost the state $5 million to $10 million per year, according to the report. Hospital costs associated with a pregnancy tend to range in the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars, especially for women without health insurance. In the meantime, the state has continued to fight against the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the state insurance exchange.

The lack of financial impact the tax credit would offer families make it clear that this move isn’t about family support, but about reproductive rights. Zach Pohl, Executive Director of Progress Michigan, calls the move for exactly what it is — redefining “personhood” via the tax code. He said in a press release:

“This is really a backdoor way of passing extreme personhood legislation, which has been rejected by voters in states across the country. Even worse, this would create a special new tax credit for unborn fetuses, after Lansing Republicans eliminated the tax credit for living, breathing children last year. It’s time for our elected leaders to get their priorities straight and start working together to create good jobs and improve education.”

Provide extra support for a fetus while cutting off aid to those who are born? Anti-choice politicking at its best.

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  • give-em-hell-mary

    What’s next? — tiny doll caskets for “baby” tampon miscarriages?  What a boon for the funeral industry!

  • rhetoric-free-feminist

    As a woman who’s lived  below the poverty line while pregnant I know I could have used a tax break. 160 dollars isn’t much but it would certainly have helped. It could have been the difference in having electricity that month or not. I even remember thinking then about how I should be able to claim my fetus as a dependent, since technically he was one, and since the tax credit for having a dependent would surely make things just that much easier

    I rarely care about the “intent” that legislators might have behind their bills. It’s not like it’s a surprise that republicans believe fetuses are babies. But that money wouldn’t be given to a fetus. It would go to me- a pregnant women, who could use it . I could use that money to buy prenatals and dha pills  buy a stroller and diapers etc which I’d need. I only care about the letter of the bill itself and how it will effect citizens. Specifically underpriveleged minorities. Women can use all the relief they can get these days. 

    Do you have a link to the actual bill so we can read the personhood implications within it? Because right now all I can do is approve of a bill that gives aid to pregnant mothers.
    Obviously healthcare needs to be accessible in the state as well. Does the state not offer free medical to pregnant women? And free healthcare to their children? In Virginia low income pregnant women are readily approved for medicaid  and children are given medicaid through adulthood. Our state isn’t exactly the most awesome when it comes to necessary social programs either. Does Michigan not even offer medical to low income kids and pregnant women?


  • arekushieru

    it would help if you read the article first.  Because the point is, they’re taking away tax credits for children, but advocating for tax credits for fetuses.  Which do YOU think is going to be more expensive in the long run?  And which do YOU think is apparently more important to Republicans, fetuses or children, by the way the bills are being introduced?  Which means, that there is MORE likely an agenda than not.  Kthxbai.

  • rhetoric-free-feminist

    I did read it, but I somehow missed this part in the small print. “…after Lansing Republicans eliminated the tax credit for living, breathing children last year” That’s what I get for speed-reading. :-) Oops. Thanks. I’ll look that up.

  • arekushieru

    Sweet!  Thanks for the very rational response (not sarcasm)!  I’m telling you this because I think everyone should be commended for reasonable responses.  :)

  • rhetoric-free-feminist

    So holy shit! I looked it up and I tried really really hard to find unbiased sources that might shed some kind of comprehensible light onto everything I uncovered about Michigan’s budget cuts last year and ummm yeah they just seem to really suck. They reduced their EIC 70% last year among a long list of cuts to charity and social programs. Just . wow. Wtf Michigan? Sigh. I mean I guess pregnant women will need that tax credit all the more since they’ve been robbed of most of the aid the state used to provide. Nice f’ing consolation prize. It amounts to less than nothing in comparison >:-( Unbelieveable.  Good job keeping women in poverty. See how that effects the abortion rate “prolife” republicans!
    Man, I try to remain objective and fairminded and give all sides the benefit of the doubt but there’s just no apology for this.
    Thanks for calling me out. I like to know what I’m talking about even if it means I have to eat crow when I jump the gun ::blush:: .
     Ugh. I’m so mad now. Rage/