Republicans try to sneak fetal personhood language into tax plan

Republicans never stop trying to ban abortion—even, apparently, when drawing up plans on how to tax college savings. In the section on 529 college savings accounts, Republicans added a provision on “treatment of unborn children,” defined specifically as “a child in utero,” which “means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.” Emily Peck reports that:

Pro-abortion rights advocates were quick to call out the language. “This is a back-door attempt to establish personhood from the moment of conception,” Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, said in a statement. “The tax code is no place to define what constitutes an ‘unborn child.’ What’s next, giving a Social Security number to a zygote?” […]

Abortion foes believe that if fetuses were legally considered people, then abortion would

to be outlawed. State and federal legislation attempting to classify fertilized eggs, human embryos and fetuses as people has failed repeatedly over the years. The tax reform provision appears to be a sideways attempt at something similar.

If years of Republican history on this point doesn’t make clear what they’re trying to do here, consider this:

There’s nothing in current law stopping parents from opening a 529 savings account before a child is born, explained Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, a personal finance site. A parent opens the account in his or her own name, and once the baby is born, changes the account beneficiary, he explained. McBride said he did this for one of his sons.

So Republicans are taking the trouble of inserting all this language about tax-advantaged college savings for “unborn children” into their tax bill when it’s already possible to do. Yeah, that’s not just an enlightened attempt to let parents know they can get a head start on saving for college, and it shows what kind of fanatics these are.

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