Conservative lawmakers are desperate to classify fetuses as people in some form of legislation. So it shouldn’t really be shocking that after Personhood was defeated all around the country, they’re trying to find fresh alternatives. The newest comes out of the great state of Michigan, where Republican legislators proposed a bill that will give a “dependent” tax credit for any fetus past 12 weeks of gestation. That’s right, your pregnancy could be considered a tax credit.
At first, it might seem like these politicians are just trying to help new parents! After all, the credit would save families in Michigan between $5 and $10 million each year. Why are liberals getting all Bah Humbug about it?
Well, these same lawmakers that want to give you a tax credit for your fetus, just spent a lot of time trying to get rid of the Earned Income Tax Credit for actual children. At the time, Republican Governor Rick Snyder said that he wasn’t raising taxes, he was just cutting spending. According to him, the state couldn’t afford to give tax credits for children. But now, it’s fine spending millions to give them for the contents of a woman’s uterus that may or may not become a living, breathing child some day.
Personally, I have uneasy feelings about any family-based tax incentive. That’s right, I said it. I don’t think we need to give tax breaks for marriage. There are all sorts of families out there, some married and some not, we don’t need to act like one is more worthy than the other. In some ways, I’m more understanding of tax credits for children. After all, kids cost a lot of money. But if I had to choose, I would rather the government support paid maternity leave than a simple tax credit.
The idea of giving a tax break for a pregnancy is just lunacy. And the fact that it’s being supported by the same people who pushed to end tax credits for actual children is even beyond that. If these lawmakers were trying to prove to the world that they only care about babies up until the point that they’re born, this would be the perfect example.
If Michigan really wants to support pregnant women, how about making sure that their companies have to accommodate their reasonable medical needs, like more frequent bathroom breaks and not lifting anything heavy for a couple months? If they really want to help families, invest that $5 million in public education.
But the truth is that this whole charade isn’t about supporting women or families. It’s about calling a 12-week-old fetus a “Dependent.” It’s about finding a way to legally state that what’s growing in a woman’s body deserves government protection and recognition. This is not a tax issue. This is a reproductive rights issue masquerading as a tax incentive for pregnant women.