The GOP tax plan, unveiled today, allows expectant parents to contribute to their unborn baby’s 529 college savings account.
“Nothing shall prevent an unborn child from being treated as a designated beneficiary,” the plan says. It defines an unborn child 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.”
Abortion advocacy groups, including NARAL and Planned Parenthood, denounced the language in the tax reform bill.
Leave it to the GOP to figure out how to stick language that would help them pass an abortion ban into a tax bill. pic.twitter.com/4NPzrxLX4b— NARAL (@NARAL) November 2, 2017
NARAL’s Kaylie Hanson Long responded to the language saying, “the GOP’s relentless obsession with advancing its dangerous anti-choice ideology knows no boundaries and no common sense. Inserting ‘personhood’ language into their tax bill is just the latest example of how they’re trying to turn back the clock on this country.”
Long did not further explain how allowing parents to save for their unborn baby’s college would “turn back the clock” on the country.
Dana Singiser, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs with the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, seemed to think the language in the bill would restrict abortion in some way.
This is a clear attempt to use the Tax bill to make it harder to access abortion. pic.twitter.com/SVjUU33jrT— Erica Sackin (@ericajanes) November 2, 2017
“It is absurd that House Republican leaders would use a tax bill to try to advance their relentless agenda to undermine access to safe, legal abortion,” she said. “Denying women access to safe, legal abortion is wildly out of touch with the majority of Americans. Politicians in Washington, DC have no place inserting themselves in decisions about women’s health and lives, not on this bill and not on any bill.”
Pro-life advocates, including March for Life president Jeanne Mancini, praised the language.
“House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) deserves praise for including language in this tax bill that recognizes the personhood of unborn children by allowing expectant parents to contribute to their child’s 529 education savings account in the year prior to birth,” she said. “A child in the womb is just as human as you or I yet, until now, the U.S. tax code has failed to acknowledge the unborn child - all while granting tax breaks for those seeking an abortion under the pretense of ‘healthcare’. The proposed tax plan is a huge leap forward for an antiquated tax code, and we hope this is the first step in expanding the child tax credit to include unborn children as well.”
Mallory Quigley, communications director for the Susan B. Anthony List called the language, "a small increment in the momentum that we're building to ensure that one day every child is welcomed and protected under the law,".
"We hope that it stays in the House bill and that it stays in anything the Senate puts out," she said.