Monday, April 25, 2005

The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002

Via Atrios over the weekend, I found this interesting article in The Washington Post. Apparently, among the many strange effects of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002—commonly called the "partial birth abortion" law— you can now declare your miscarriages as child dependents on your Federal taxes in the year you had them. According to the Post, the Bush Administrati have recently starting publicizing the lesser-known effects of the law.

I wonder why they took so much time to get around to it. Here's the concluding two paragraphs:
HHS officials distributed news of its decision to advocacy groups before the media briefing.

The most significant impact of the 2002 law, Grimes said, was a record-keeping change. Previously, a miscarriage before viability was classified as a spontaneous abortion. Under the new provision, it is recorded as a live birth followed by a neonatal death, and parents can claim the child as a tax deduction for that year, he said.

Hmmm. I don't remember my tax software asking me if my family had any miscarriages last year.

Why would the Administrati think it's a good idea to remind cash-strapped families to make sure they declare their miscarriages as live children for tax purposes? There are hundreds of thousands (millions?) of "spontaneous abortions"— oops, sorry... live births followed by neonatal death— every year in America. That's a lot of tax deductions we're talking about here.

I'm just wondering about the fiscal impact of this record-keeping change.

Okay, I'm also marveling at the wicked genius of how the Administrati is using the partial-birth abortion ban to roll back reproductive health care rights. Does anyone else but me remember how this law was sold to us as just a ban on late-term abortions? I know, I know.

Welcome to Gilead, ladies. Don't say we didn't try to warn you.

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