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The Current: Unborn vs Living

Tax legislation would give breaks to fetuses, not already-living children

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Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 9:47 pm, Sat Apr 19, 2014.

Whether a fetus is a “living human” or a “clump of cells” is something that Republicans and Democrats will likely never agree upon.

Is it alive? Is it a parasite? Should it be given the same rights as someone or something that lives outside of its mother’s womb? A person could fight tooth and nail all day arguing their point and would likely not convince another person to change their mind.

One thing that is not debatable is that a child after it is born is indeed a living, breathing human being. A child is raised over 18 years, which would be a wee bit more expensive than a nine-month pregnancy, provided the pregnancy is normal.

Nevertheless, Michigan lawmakers are attempting to give tax breaks to fetuses after taking away tax breaks for living children just a year ago.

According to an article published by the Detroit News, the two-bill package that is being considered by a House committee would allow parents of their unborn child to be able to claim a tax exemption for their fetuses that had reached gestation as of Dec. 31 of the previous tax year, and that had been under physician care at least 12 weeks of gestation. This exemption would be $3,950 for the 2013 tax year and $4,000 for 2014 and beyond. The tax would cost Michigan about $5 million annually in tax revenue.

Rep. Lisa Lyons (R-Alto) told the Detroit Free Press that the legislation is meant to help pregnant women with health care costs during their pregnancy because it requires a woman to be under physician’s care before claiming the tax break.

Democrats, according to the Detroit News, view the legislation as an attack on abortion rights.

In addition, according to the Detroit News, in 2011, a tax reform was passed that eliminated the $600 per-child tax credit.

So, just one year, give or take a few months, after eliminating a tax exemption for children that can live without an umbilical cord, legislation arises that gives fetuses a tax exemption. This gives the accusations that this legislation is an attack on abortion rights a little more plausibility.

Why should a fetus be considered more of a child, enough so to get a tax exemption, than an actual living child?

If this legislation were to pass, not only would it cause lawmakers to question the personhood of a fetus, it would also send a message that a fetus is a larger responsibility than the actual child that comes after the pregnancy.

One must also take into consideration the fact that there are greedy people out there. Is it possible that a tax break for fetuses, and not for children, could lead to an increase in pregnancy but in turn lead in an increase in people that put their child up for adoption? It’s a horrible concept, but is possible.

If a fetus should be considered a person, the world may never find an answer to this question, but what they do have an answer for is whether a child should be considered a person.

Eighteen years raising a healthy child is likely a lot more expensive than a normal nine-month pregnancy.

If lawmakers wish that the parents of a fetus get a tax break, then the parents of living children sure as shootin’ should get one, too.

According to the Detroit News, if the legislation is not decided on by the end of this year’s session, it fails.

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