Anti-abortion “personhood” legislation comes back to Michigan… with a new twist

    Conservative legislators in several states, knowing that a Constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion is unlikely, have begun attempts to work around the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. Most notably, these legislative attempts have involved, in some way, shape or form, the concept of personhood – the notion that a fertilized egg is in fact a human person, and, as such, is deserving of the full protections that our laws provide the rest of us, who are out of the womb, and breathing on our own. Attempts have been made in several states, including Mississippi, Oklahoma, Virginia, and, to my knowledge, all have failed. In spite of this, however, fundamentalist conservatives keep trying. Right now, for instance, attempts are being made in both Alabama and Georgia. And, Michigan Republicans, having already attempted it in 2009, are back at it again, with a clever, little twist.

    The following comes from a site called RH Reality Check:

    …Michigan Republicans are now pushing a bill that would grant a tax credit to any fetus proven to be at least 12 weeks along by December 31st. Calling it an “advance” on the actual tax break the family would receive the next calendar year, the GOP frames the financial help as a chance to offset expenses with pregnancy…

    The bill, if it passed, would provide about $160 per family and would cost the state $5 million to $10 million per year, according to the report.

    Hospital costs associated with a pregnancy tend to range in the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars, especially for women without health insurance. In the meantime, the state has continued to fight against the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the state insurance exchange.

    The lack of financial impact the tax credit would offer families makes it clear that this move isn’t about family support, but about reproductive rights. Zach Pohl, Executive Director of Progress Michigan, calls the move exactly what it is — redefining “personhood” via the tax code…

    And, as State Representative Jeff Irwin recently mentioned to me, this new legislative push isn’t just misguided, but ironic, seeing as how many of the same people pushing for this new, pre-natal tax credit, voted in 2011 to kill Michigan’s $600 tax credit for real, living, “fully-formed” kids.

    Anger aside, I’m curious as to how this would work, if enacted. Would you send in a pee stick with your personal income tax forms, or would you have to actually get a Social Security number for your fetus first? And what would stop you from terminating a pregnancy right after filing your paperwork, and qualifying for your $160? And would you have to give the money back at a later date, if the State were to determine that your baby never came to fruition? And, speaking of which, would the State have to employ a squad of investigators dedicated to the task of following up, and ensuring that these little tax deductions matured into babies? And, if so, how much would that add to the cost of the program, which, according to State projections, would already cost us up to $10 million per year in lost revenues? And who gets to claim the tax credit – the father or the mother?

    I’m forwarding these questions, and a few others, along to Lisa Posthumus Lyons and Jud Gilbert, the sponsors of House Bills 5684 and 5685 respectively, and I’d encourage you to reach out to them as well… And, while you’re at it, you might also want to ask why they’re focused on this kind of nonsense when our public schools are failing, our infrastructure is crumbling, and our families are struggling to make ends meet. Oh, and you might also want to ask if they’re aware that abortions are down by 5% under Obama. (If they respond, let me know.)

    [note: It should be mentioned that attempts are being made at the federal level as well, thanks to Paul Ryan and Todd "legitimate rape" Akin. For more on their proposed Sanctity of Human Life Act, and how, if enacted, it could create a situation where birth control is perceived as murder, click here.]

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      18 Comments

      1. not the mama
        Posted November 25, 2012 at 12:04 am | Permalink

        so… can you use the $160 to pay for an abortion? they’re not covered by most insurance. Unless you’re planning on one, then you can get an “unplanned pregnancy rider.” Which also makes total sense.

      2. Edward
        Posted November 25, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        Why not just say that everything is a person? If corporations can be people, and clumps of cells can be people, why not just say that everything is a person and be done with it?

      3. Tommy
        Posted November 25, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        They will never stop – ever until all abortions are made illegal. As we have a Republican house and Senate, this will pass. It will be a test for Gov. Nerd. If he signs the law, you will know his true colors.

      4. anonymous
        Posted November 25, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Personally, I long of the day when it’s illegal for me to trim my toe nails because they’re people, and I welcome any development that brings that eventuality one step closer.

        Thank you, Lansing (for making us the laughing stock of America once again).

      5. Mark
        Posted November 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        The best chant from the Walmart picket line: “They say roll back, we say fight back!

      6. Posted November 25, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        To be fair Mark, they are trying to “fix” our public schools with the new bills that push education “any time, any way, any place” legislation and bills that let kids take their tax dollars to any school (including homeschooling) that they want.

      7. Elf
        Posted November 25, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        What an embarrassment if Michigan is the first place in the United States where this end run around the constitution actually becomes law. Even fucking Mississippi voted this bullshit down. But, then again, voters there didn’t get a $160 bribe.

      8. Posted November 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        I think we should just tax every woman based on the number of eggs she has. After all, these are all potential people.

        Women should have to pay for each month they aren’t pregnant.

      9. Posted November 26, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Mark, your commentary requires response on several points. First, there is no such thing as a “fertilized egg”, there is an ovum, there is a sperm, and once fertilization occurs, there is something else… call it a zygote, a blastocyst, or an embryo if you like, but uttering the phrase “fertilized egg” reveals either your ignorance, and therefore your incompetence to discuss the issue, or something darker… a volitional dehumanization of the class of person you’ve decided should be killed… quite akin to the use of the term “kike” to dehumanize the Jews as they were led to the gas chambers.

        Your hypothesizing about any number of ridiculous legal circumstances that would arise from recognizing the God given Personhood of every innocent human being is refuted by a number of nation around the world who already recognize Personhood, and the first 400 years or so of American history, when the right to life was recognized, and no “squads of investigators” or other such absurdities were required to protect innocent life.

        And while surgical abortion is reported to be down 5%, chemical abortions are increasing at rates that are not reported, and as far as I know, not even reliably measurable. Therefore to assume that baby killing is decreasing, just because the surgical butchering of children in the womb has been reported to be decreasing could be either naivete, or willfull gullibility. Neither of which applies to you in my opinion. You are a liar, and you happily believe and transmit lies that support your wickedness.

        And finally, your feigned concern for ” public schools, our infrastructure, and our families who are struggling to make ends meet” strikes me as wholly inconsistent with your desire to see children murdered. Without a guarantee of the protection of the right life; education, infrastructure and a job are of little concern.

        There is a God who knew you in the womb before your flesh was formed, and He will judge you. Repent of your wickedness or be damned!

      10. Mr. X
        Posted November 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        You had me at “your desire to see children murdered”.

        “Repent of your wickedness or be damned”, was just icing on the cake.

      11. Thom Elliott
        Posted November 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        The quotation mentioned about God knowing you in the womb is specifically related to Jeremiah, a prophet, which would make sense, considering God picked Jeremiah to speak for him. What about the fine in Leviticus for injuring a women resulting in miscarriage? It treats such a thing as a property dispute. Why doesn’t Jesus mention it? Or America at all? The linking of Nazi Germany to abortion is so outrageous, fetus have not been the subject of paranoid scapegoating by deranged archcriminal militant occultists in order to clean the bloodstream to build a super-race, the only similarity there is is death… which you don’t really have a problem with, as you are probably fattened by murdered pigs/cows/chickens etc you yourself are a graveyard for thousands of dead animals, you probably walk around in rotting flesh formed into shoes, you have the skin of murdered sentient beings hold up your trowsers, a regular Ed Gein of cows.

      12. Brainless
        Posted November 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        X, you crack me up. I’m glad I’m sitting here alone because I busted out a full LOL. I needed that to dislodge the head-sized Chipotle assaulting my stomach. THANKS!

        This wretched hive of scum and villainy is now double-wicked. Jesus Mark, I’ve been called “an asshole” and “amusing”, but never a wicked baby killer (and liar – don’t forget “liar”). You must feel… uh, feel like… um… Nevermind.

        Here’s Douggie McDouchebag’s weird-ass web page:
        http://theweeklyworldview.com/

        And here’s his Twitter feed with 4 (count ‘em – FOUR) followers:
        https://twitter.com/DougMcBurney

        Keep the faith, dude. Anybody else ever notice that ALL of the asshole conservatives are men? (Except Coulter, who’s mostly a guy.)

      13. Demetrius
        Posted November 26, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Wow … from zero to … “kikes” being thrown into gas chambers … all in one short paragraph.

      14. ypsijav
        Posted November 26, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think that the german-speaking gas chamber attendants used that particular American-coined ethnic slur. The thought that “fertilized egg” is a dehumanizing slur makes this terrifying legislation seem a lot more hilarious to me.

      15. Edward
        Posted November 27, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        I heard on NPR this morning that the Republicans have pulled this bill from consideration for the time being. My guess is that the Governor’s office told them to drop it. Here’s the story……..

        It appears legislation to allow people to claim a fetus as a dependent on their state taxes has stalled.

        Plans to vote on the bills were scrapped, and they were removed from Monday’s state House Tax Policy Committee agenda.

        Opponents of the measures called them a backhanded attack on access to abortions.

        Committee Chairman Jud Gilbert said the issue has become too contentious.

        “This thing was just going totally out of control. I have a lot of things on my plate between now and the end of the year. And this is something that will have to wait until next year to be accomplished,” said Gilbert.

        He says legislation to repeal the property tax on businesses and industrial equipment will take up most of his committee’s time in the lame duck session.

        Any bills that do not pass by the end of the year will die, but could be re-introduced next year.

        http://www.michiganradio.org/post/state-lawmakers-halt-fetal-tax-exemption-bills

      16. Posted November 27, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Is it too late to set up an abortion stand at the Water Street Development? I think it would be a hit.

        Plus, it would get the community to participate in giving real abortions.

      17. Meta
        Posted January 9, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        Paul Ryan is back at it, pushing a new personhood bill.

        Despite the deep unpopularity of fetal personhood bills in 2012, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has again decided to cosponsor the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a bill that gives full legal rights to human zygotes from the moment of fertilization.

        Read more:
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/09/paul-ryan-personhood-bill_n_2440365.html

      18. EOS
        Posted April 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/04/10/philadelphia-abortion-clinic-horror-column/2072577/

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      1. [...] that the Republican leadership might table this for the time being, like they did with the proposed “tax breaks for fetuses” legislation that we discussed a little while ago, but you never know. They could try to sneak it in [...]

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