My wife and I are expecting our first child on January 29, 2018. We’re just about to hit the two-month mark until delivery, which means that our baby could technically come at any time and, more likely than not, be perfectly healthy.
I often joke with my wife that it would be great if she could deliver a healthy child one month early. Why? Well, that would allow us to claim a child tax deduction in 2017 and 2018. Obviously I’m not serious. I want my son to stay in the womb as long as he needs to.
But it raises a pretty interesting question: why are child tax credits limited to purchases made in the same fiscal year as the baby’s birth when there are so many relevant purchases made prior to that? Just over the weekend, I bought some lumber and got to work making my son’s crib. But in order to do that, I had to buy the mattress to make sure it would fit. We also bought a jumbo pack of 300 diapers because, well, they were on sale at Costco and it made sense to save the $8 on something we knew we were going to have to buy anyway. Why can’t I claim a deduction for these pre-birth expenses?
The answer to that question, based on recent developments, is apparently abortion.
When the House Republicans rolled out their tax plan, they included language to define unborn children as dependents to fix this issue so that expecting parents could take advantage of the pregnancy on their taxes. This is phrasing in the bill that abortion activists find so offensive:
“Nothing shall prevent an unborn child from being treated as a designated beneficiary or an individual under this section… For purposes of this paragraph… the term ‘unborn child’ means a child in utero… The term ‘child in utero’ means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.”
This provision would allow expecting parents to claim their unborn child as a dependent and not only receive the tax deduction for, potentially, an extra fiscal year, but also start investing in their child’s college accounts. The proposed change is common sense. The whole goal of the child tax credit is to ease the burden of parenthood and allow at least some of the relevant childcare purchases to be written off.
Democrats and Liberals don’t like this. They claim that it is just one step down the slippery slope towards banning abortion. They are arguing that I shouldn’t be able to write off my child’s crib because doing so at 7 months gestation would jeopardize a woman’s access to a third-trimester abortion. They don’t want a tiny “clump of cells” to be able to have a college savings account because then, how could they possibly abort a human life that already has a 529 plan accruing interest?
I understand their argument. Calling an unborn child a child bestows upon him or her personhood. I get that it would weaken abortion rights. But if the whole argument on one side of the political aisle is that expecting parents shouldn’t be able to write off their pre-delivery child care expenses because we need to make sure other people can have unfettered access to abortions, that’s pretty messed up.
The entire foundation of Roe v Wade was that an unborn child is dependent upon the mother. Therefore, abortion would only be permissible before the point of viability, the time at which a child in-utero is developed enough to survive outside the womb. Abortion law hinges on the idea that an unborn child lacks personhood because he or she is dependent. However, now that the GOP is codifying that same principle into tax law, the Left changes its tune.
What does it say about our society that one political party would actually argue against prospective parents getting tax breaks in order to make sure other pregnant woman retain the ability to kill their unborn children? What does it say about the Political Left that they argue Medicaid should fund abortions but they will fight to the death to stop parents from getting a tax break on their cribs?
You can tell a lot about someone by looking at where they think the government should spend Americans’ tax dollars. Expecting parents should get a tax break money they spend on childcare before their child is born. Parents who choose to adopt should also get an adoption tax credit to make life a little easier on them. Our tax policy should prioritize and reward people who choose life.
But by fighting these proposals, simply because bestowing economic personhood on an unborn child would threaten abortions, the Political Left has issued a full throated endorsement of death. And it is disgusting.