While much of the country still debates whether an unborn child is a person or just a lump of helpless flesh, the state of Michigan is giving them more status than they’ve ever had before.
The Michigan House of Representatives is currently discussing House Bill 5684 and House Bill 5685. If passed these bills would allow expecting parents to claim their unborn child as a tax deduction on their state income tax. In order to qualify the parents would have to show that the mother and child have been under a doctor’s care from the time the baby was at least 12 weeks of age in the womb till the end of the tax year. Once qualified the unborn child would be worth the $3700 tax deduction.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons and Rep. Jud Gilbert, both Republicans. They said the reason for the bill was to help expecting parents to offset some of the costs they incur during pregnancy. In fact the two co-sponsors consider the tax deduction to be an extension of the current deduction received for children once they are born.
In an interview with MLive.com, Gilbert said:
“You’re recognizing the fact that people have additional expenses, another person to take care of. Money saved there could be contributed to doctor’s bills and all kinds of things.”
The cost of the bill is expected to run between $5 million and $10 million in reduced state tax revenue. But Republican sponsors believe the bill is necessary to help expecting parents in today’s struggling economy.
Michigan Democrats are already up in arms over the bill claiming that if it is passed that it would give legal status to the unborn child and thus affect women’s rights to abortion. They also see these legal rights as leading to criminal and health law issues.
Currently the Republicans control the Michigan House of Representatives, and since any bill that is not passed by the end of the year automatically dies, it is imperative that the Republican majority pass these two pieces of legislation as soon as possible. Whether or not they will be able to accomplish this remains to be seen.
Perhaps some see this as an end around play to get some form of personhood bill passed and give legal status to the unborn that they currently do not have. Regardless the bill does recognize them as a person and therefore worthy of the same rights as any other person would have.
Therefore let’s hope and pray that the House Republicans are able to get these measures passed. If you live in the state of Michigan then please contact your state Representative and State Senator and urge them to support these bills. In the long run they will not only benefit expecting parents but will also help protect the rights of the unborn child.