Target: Richard Hammel, Michigan House Minority Leader
Goal: Help working families instead of giving tax breaks for fetuses
Republicans in Michigan recently proposed a bill that would give tax credits for fetuses over 12 weeks, allowing taxpayers to claim their fetuses as dependents. While the legislators who support the bill claim that it is meant to help families pay for prenatal care, the tax credit would not save a family nearly enough money to pay for hospital visits, and it is clearly the first step in an attempt to limit reproductive rights. These same Republicans recently passed legislation that removed a tax credit for families with children under 18, and are working to prevent the Affordable Care Act from being implemented in Michigan.
Michigan’s child poverty rate is one of the worst in the country; there are over 300,000 children in the state who could benefit from government assistance. If this legislation is approved, the state would lose millions of dollars every year because of the tax breaks, which could otherwise be used to help working families and improve education in the state. Although many pregnant women would benefit from improved prenatal care, giving a tax credit that would amount to less than $200 is not helpful, especially for women who cannot even afford health insurance.
Similar to the “personhood” amendments that several states have proposed, this bill would give rights to fetuses; they would be considered people for tax purposes. If the legislation passes, which is possible with so many in Michigan’s Republican-controlled House supporting it, it could lead to laws that put more restrictions on abortion rights. While it might seem beneficial to save women a small amount of money during pregnancy, this bill is only meant to discourage women from terminating pregnancies and to set the stage for further reproductive restrictions.
In addition to costing the state millions of dollars, this new law would do nothing to help women with health care costs, and working families would continue to struggle to support their children. Michigan would be the first to pass this kind of legislation, and its passage could encourage Republicans in other states to implement similar laws, threatening reproductive rights throughout the country. This law would only hurt women and families, and Michigan legislators must prevent it from passing.
Dear Representative Hammel,
Michigan Republicans recently proposed a bill that would allow fetuses to be considered dependents for tax purposes. The legislators supporting this bill claim that the goal is to help families pay for hospital expenses during pregnancy, but it is obviously an attempt to give rights to fetuses and take away reproductive rights from women.
The same Republicans who support this bill recently cut tax breaks for families with children, even though there are thousands of children living in poverty in Michigan. State legislators should make it their priority to help these struggling working families, instead of focusing on restricting women’s rights. In addition to the threat that this bill poses to abortion rights, it would cost the state millions of dollars each year.
If it passes, this new bill would be the first of its kind in the United States, and could threaten reproductive rights not only in Michigan, but throughout the country. I am asking that you urge your fellow Democrats to prevent Republican legislators from approving this extreme bill, and ensure that women’s rights continue to be protected.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: infomatique via Flickr.