Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

November-26-12

Michigan Considering Fetus to Qualify as a Dependent

Lawmakers in Michigan are considering allowing fetuses that are at least 12 weeks in gestation to qualify as a dependent under the state's tax law. Two House Bills, HB 5684 and HB 5685, have been proposed in the Michigan House Tax Policy committee and were debated last week. The measures were originally scheduled to be discussed further today, however several committee members are not ready to vote on them, according to MLive.

HB 5684 and HB 5685 would allow fetuses that were determined to be at least 12 weeks in gestation by the end of the tax year to be considered a dependent when filling out income tax forms. Representative Jud Gilbert (R-Algonac), sponsor of HB 5685, says that such a change is "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."

Opponents of the measure believe that this is not about additional expenses, but instead is motivated by pro-life ideology. Zach Pohl of Progress Michigan issued a statement, where he explained, "This is really a backdoor way of passing extreme personhood legislation, which has been rejected by voters in states across the country." Meghan Groen, director of government relations for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, voiced similar concerns to the Guardian. "The way they have drafted it, it is not for pre-natal care, but is for the fetus," she said. "To focus on the fetus above all else is dangerous."

Pohl and Groen are also quick to point out that the two sponsors of the legislation voted to decrease tax deductions for families. "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," Pohl states. Groen continues "We don't have child tax credit here in Michigan, that has been eliminated. ... There are a lot of women here who are looking to provide for their children right now and their needs are not being met."

According to the Guardian, the Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) has found that a child tax deduction that was eliminated by the state legislature and governor last year would have provided $57 million and applied to 2.35 million children in the state. This comes after a 2011 cut that reduced the Earned Income Tax Credit from 20% to 6%, which a spokeswoman for MLPP stated caused 9,000 children to fall deeper into poverty.

Media Resources: Guardian 11/22/12; Jezebel 11/21/12; MLive 11/21/12; Progress Michigan 11/20/12


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

7/31/2014 Massachusetts Enacts New Law to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Facilities - Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) signed into law yesterday a bill to help protect access to reproductive health care facilities in the state. The law, entitled An Act to Promote Public Safety and Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Facilities, enables a law enforcement official to order the "immediate dispersal of a gathering that substantially impedes access to or departure from an entrance or a driveway to a reproductive health care facility." The order would "remain in place for 8 hours or until the close of business of the reproductive health facility, whichever is earlier," and make noncompliance punishable with a fine or jail time. . . .
 
7/31/2014 First World Day Against Human Trafficking Encourages International Action - The first World Day against Trafficking in Persons took place Wednesday in an effort by the United Nations to bring attention to the continuing need for international support to help trafficking victims and end impunity for perpetrators. Millions of people are still trafficked every year, sold to work in brothels, fields, and sweatshops. . . .
 
7/30/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Rules In Favor Of Mississippi's Last Clinic - Mississippi's last remaining abortion clinic will remain open after a the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction against HB 1390, the Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at area hospitals. Had the court not upheld the lower federal's court's injunction, HB 1390 would have shuttered Jackson Women's Health Organization (JWHO), the state's only comprehensive reproductive health center. . . .