FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2017
(Washington, D.C.) — Following reports that ideological personhood language and a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate are included in the Senate GOP’s tax bill, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue issued the following statement:
“The GOP bill reads like a wish list for an out of touch base driven by ideology at the expense of sound fiscal policy. By using tax code to dismantle the ACA and determine when life begins– measures that have routinely failed legislatively and at the ballot box– the GOP has once again shown they’re incapable of governing in the best interest of the American people.
“Asserting an anti-abortion provision under the guise of college affordability is a new low even for this anti-choice GOP. This provision cynically preys on the desire of parents to have affordable higher education while doing nothing of the sort. The sole purpose of this provision is to codify the radical, anti-choice idea that life begins at conception into law and begin the process of banning abortion altogether.
“The fact that the GOP does this while actually making life harder for working class Americans is morally bankrupt. I look forward to the day when the GOP pursues college affordability and relief for working class families with a fraction of the zeal they use to control women’s bodies.”
This is the first time “personhood” language has made it into tax reform legislation, leaving the door open for future laws to use the same, ideological definition of when life begins. As shown in recent ballot measures across multiple states, the public largely does not support the concept of personhood–in red, purple, and blue states– and this attack on reproductive rights is out of step with legal precedent, science, and public opinion.
This provision is also wholly unnecessary, as Americans can already set up 529s for the children they wish to have. A 529 in a parent’s name can be transferred to a child once that child is born.
Last week, NARAL rolled out a new six-figure digital ad campaign demanding that the GOP remove dangerous, ideological personhood language from their tax plan. NARAL is taking aim at a provision in the new tax plan that allows 529s to be established for an “unborn child.” An example of the ads can be found here and here.