Michigan Republicans consider tax breaks for fetuses

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 16:36 EDT
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A lone anti-abortion protester demonstrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court on May 14, 2001. Photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Shutterstock.com.
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Michigan Republicans held a hearing Tuesday to consider two bills that would offer tax breaks to any woman carrying a fetus that’s more than 12 weeks old.

Proposed by State Rep. Lisa Posthumous Lyons (R), House Bills 5684 and 5685 aim to allow women to claim their gestating fetus as a dependent on their taxes.

Qualified taxpayers would be able to claim that about $4,000 of their income is tax exempt. A report (PDF) by Michigan’s nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency estimated that the exemption would cost between $5 million to $10 million per year.

Despite Democratic gains across the country on Election Day, Michigan remains in Republican control, meaning it’s possible that these bills could pass. The American Civil Liberties Union cited Michigan last year as one of the leading states for Republicans seeking to curb reproductive rights.

Democrats made Michigan into a key front in their “war on women” campaign after a female lawmaker was banned from speaking over her use of the word “vagina” during a debate on a bill that would have banned abortions throughout the state. Partially as a result of high voter turnout among women, Michigan reelected President Barack Obama by a wide margin and sent. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) back to Congress.

Despite its potential, Rep. Lyons’ proposed reforms could make for an interesting bit of contrast in the next election season: Michigan Republicans voted in favor of a package of tax reforms last session that eliminated a $600 per-child tax credit for working poor families, replacing it with a credit of just $25.

Photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Shutterstock.com.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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