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Georgia Officially Allows Fetuses To Be Claimed As Dependents On Tax Forms

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The Georgia Department of Revenue confirmed in steerage issued Monday that residents might declare an unborn fetus as a depending on their state tax varieties, thus qualifying for an exemption beneath state regulation.

The steerage was anticipated, based mostly on the language of the state’s abortion ban, however it nonetheless marks a disturbing victory for anti-abortion activists who want to set up fetal personhood and lengthen them constitutional rights.

Georgia handed a regulation banning abortion across the six-week mark in 2019, however it was prevented from going into impact till the Supreme Court overturned abortion rights throughout the nation in late June. A federal appeals courtroom subsequently greenlighted the ban.

In Georgia, any fetus displaying electrical exercise ― a precursor to a heartbeat that may seem round six weeks ― is now “eligible for the Georgia individual income tax dependent exemption,” the state’s Revenue Department stated. Pregnant taxpayers are eligible for a $3,000 deduction per fetus, starting when the regulation took impact on July 20, 2022.

“Similar to any other deduction claimed on an income tax return, relevant medical records or other supporting documentation shall be provided to support the dependent deduction claimed if requested by the Department,” the steerage stated.

The anti-abortion regulation specifies {that a} fetus with electrical exercise qualifies as a “dependent minor.” It additionally defines “unborn child” as “a member of the species Homo sapiens at any stage of development who is carried in the womb.”

It shouldn’t be clear what motion the state would take, if any, within the occasion of a miscarriage after a pregnant individual has filed their taxes. In response to a request for clarification, a division consultant instructed HuffPost further instruction could be offered later this yr.

Georgia’s regulation doesn’t criminalize “spontaneous abortion” or abortion in “medically futile” circumstances, together with ectopic being pregnant. But it does embody a provision permitting a pregnant individual to sue for civil damages within the occasion their being pregnant is terminated in violation of the regulation.

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution implies that citizenship is outlined at delivery. But some anti-abortion conservatives are aiming to increase constitutional rights to fetuses, together with these at nonviable phases, or perhaps a fertilized embryo. Their efforts may have dire implications for folks utilizing fertility therapies and end in elevated state surveillance of pregnant folks, amongst different penalties.

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