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Expecting Families Could Claim Fetus As A Dependent Under Bill In State House

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Expecting families could claim a fetus as a dependent under legislation before the state House. 

The House Tax Policy Committee heard testimony on the measure on Tuesday.       

The legislation would let people claim a fetus at least 12 weeks long as a dependent. Supporters say it would give expecting families extra cash that could be used for prenatal care and other costs related to pregnancy.

Dan Jarvis is with the Michigan Family Forum.

“They have added expenses as their family is growing, and this will help offset some of those expenses,” he says.

But opponents of the measure say it’s actually a step toward so-called “fetal personhood,” which could further restrict or even eliminate abortions. They say adding rights for fetuses in tax law could lead to more rights in other legal areas.

The nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency estimates the bills would cost the state between $5-10 million a year in lost revenue.

Jake Neher is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He covers the State Legislature and other political events in Lansing.
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