GOP uses tax plan for a sneak attack on abortion

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AP/Tim Korte

A Screenshot of Congressman Steve Pearce, R-NM 2nd District

These past two weeks have been extremely good weeks for progressives in the Land of Enchantment. Last week progressives swept the Las Cruces City Council races, giving progressives a majority on the council. This week the Duke City also had landslide wins for progressives in the runoff elections for mayor and city council.

Does this feel a little too good to be true?

Not to worry – we’re here to burst that feel good bubble we’ve all been living in and bring us back to the abortion battle Republicans in Congress can’t seem to let go of. Recently, as many of us were still furiously making calls and knocking on doors to support electing progressives – those sneaky Republicans were once again attacking women. This time it was wrapped up in a harmful package known as the Republican Tax Plan.

Pretty sneaky, right?

This attack has come in the form of personhood language snuck into the tax monstrosity House Republicans introduced, and it’s been sneakily stuffed into the tax disaster Senate Republicans introduced too.

Republicans slipped anti-abortion language into the draft of the tax reform bill they released on Thursday. The move is part of an effort by the Trump administration and House Republicans to define life as beginning at conception, with an eye to rolling back Roe v. Wade.

Buried on page 93 of the 429-page tax proposal is a provision that would allow fetuses to be named as beneficiaries of college savings accounts known as 529 plans ― investment vehicles that come with a range of tax breaks.

The Senate’s bill goes out of its way to define an “unborn child,” according to a passage from the bill sent to HuffPost by a representative of the Senate Finance Committee: “The provision provides that an unborn child may be treated as a designated beneficiary or an individual under section 529 plans. An unborn child means a child in utero. A child in utero means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.”

Under current law, you can open a 529 account before a child is born. A parent-to-be would simply list him or herself as the account’s beneficiary, and change the name on the account once the baby arrives.

How House and Senate Republicans managed to sneak that in while still ensuring to end the tax credit for adoption, medical expense deductions, student loan interest deductions, and state and local tax deductions into these poor excuses for tax reform – we’ll never know.

It’s like they only care about ending abortion, but have no regard for actual families…

We are very fortunate to have some stellar Members of Congress to call our own in New Mexico – with the exception of one – Congressman Steve Pearce. With that said, we invite you to write a note to Congressman Pearce and tell him that he and his Republican colleagues need to stop attacking abortion and need to focus on helping families. Send that message – fill out the form below.