NewsFri Nov 17, 2017 - 3:03 pm EST
House passes GOP tax bill that recognizes unborn children
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. House of Representatives just passed landmark tax reform legislation that includes a key provision affirming the humanity of children from the moment of conception.
“The bill allows unborn children to qualify for education savings accounts, called ‘529 Plans,’” said Andrew Guernsey, senior legislative assistant at the Family Research Council (FRC). This is “a big pro-life win,” he continued, “It gets the unborn recognized in the tax code.”
“This is the same tax code that actually subsidizes abortion – that incentivizes healthcare coverage that includes abortion – so it’s about time we start to turn the tide on the tax code from its pro-abortion bias, to finally start giving some recognition that unborn children are people too.”
“So this House version truly is (a) pro-family, pro-life, pro-child tax plan that we should really be excited about,” added Patrina Mosley, FRC Action’s assistant director.
Planned Parenthood senses existential threat, blasts pro-unborn child tax reform
Sensing a threat, Planned Parenthood blasted the provision, suggesting the GOP-authored legislation is “designed to support relentless efforts to restrict access to safe, legal abortion.”
"It is absurd that House Republican leaders would use a tax bill to try to advance their agenda to undermine access to safe, legal abortion,” said Dana Singiser, vice president at the Public Policy and Government Affairs for Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “Denying women access to safe, legal abortion is wildly out of touch with what the majority of Americans want. Politicians in Washington, D.C., have no place inserting themselves in decisions about women's health and lives, not on this bill and not on any bill.”
Echoing Planned Parenthood, NARAL tweeted:
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
Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colorado, remarked, “This is a back-door attempt to establish personhood from the moment of conception.” She added, “What’s next, giving a Social Security number to a zygote?”
CNBC says the provision contains dangerous ‘personhood’ language
CNBC denounced the provision via Twitter, asserting:
The GOP tax bill is no place to to attack reproductive rights https://t.co/TX4SpZwN6d— CNBC (@CNBC) November 14, 2017
The network expanded its tweet in an article: “The GOP has included a very strange clause in their proposed tax plan. Hidden among massive corporate tax breaks is a provision allowing families to open 529 educational savings accounts for ‘unborn children’ – essentially college plans for fetuses.”
“This dangerous ‘personhood’ language needs to be highlighted,” the article continued. “The conversation about when life begins belongs with our scientists, our clergy, and our families. The last place it belongs is in our tax code.”
How it works
“The tax-advantaged accounts, called 529s, help people save for future college expenses. Anyone -- a relative, a friend, or yourself -- can be named as a beneficiary at the time the account is opened,” explains Money.CNN.com.
Just so there’s no doubt, the provision states, “Nothing shall prevent an unborn child from being treated as a designated beneficiary or an individual.” It further elaborates: “The term ‘unborn child’ means a child in utero,” and “The term ‘child in utero’ means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.”
Welcomed by Pro-Life America
"A child in the womb is just as human as you or I,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life. “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.'"
SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement: “The inclusion of the unborn in 529 college savings plans recognizes the humanity of the unborn child and gives parents the opportunity to save for a child’s education from the earliest stages of his or her life. SBA List fully supports this provision and it deserves bipartisan support. We especially thank Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, for his leadership on this important effort.”
While the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a statement expressing their great disappointment with the overall tax bill passed by the House, Greg Schleppenbach, associate director at the USCCB's Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, told LifeSiteNews, “The tax bill’s inclusion of unborn children as eligible beneficiaries for parents’ 529 education savings account contributions is a small but welcome advance for the pro-life cause. Anytime — and in any way — that our laws recognize the unborn as persons, it advances the cause to protect all unborn children.”
Finish line in sight
Congressman Meadows tempers the excitement of pro-life America with a dose of reality, warning that the legislation has not yet crossed the finish line: “We must not allow ourselves to view today’s vote as a job completed. This is not a time for extended celebration or victory laps. This task will not be finished unless both chambers, the House and the Senate, come together and send a tax reform proposal to President Trump’s desk. It’s on ALL of us to make that happen. The American people have had it with political statements or symbolic victories — they want results, and the results won’t be delivered until President Trump signs the bill into law. Congress must run through the tape and finish what we promised. No more excuses.”