Tax deductions

Georgia anti-abortion law allows tax deductions for fetuses

Abortion-rights protesters take part in nationwide protests following the leak of the Supreme Court’s opinion suggesting the possibility of overturning the Roe v. Wade on abortion rights, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., May 14, 2022. REUTERS/Alyssa Pointer

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Aug 2 (Reuters) – Pregnant women in the U.S. state of Georgia will be able to deduct their fetuses as dependents on their taxes under a 2019 anti-abortion law that a judge cleared to take effect last month, the state said.

The state tax agency said Monday that any woman whose fetus has a detectable heartbeat as of July 20, the date of the court ruling, is eligible for a $3,000 personal tax exemption. $ for each fetus, if she is carrying more than one .

The Georgia Department of Revenue did not provide details, such as what happens if the pregnancy ends in miscarriage during the tax year. The agency said it will release new guidelines later in 2022.

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The law allowing the deduction was part of a so-called fetal heart rate bill passed three years ago in Georgia, which sought to ban abortion after detection of fetal heart activity, usually around six weeks gestation.

This bill, which also allowed women to collect fetal support, was one of a series of abortion bans and restrictions that were not allowed to go into effect for years – as long as the United States Constitution was interpreted as protecting the right to Abortion.

After a new conservative supermajority in the U.S. Supreme Court ended those protections by overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide, Georgia law was allowed to go into effect. vigor.

Allowing pregnant women to claim their fetuses as dependents has been an idea supported by some in the anti-abortion movement for years. Bills allowing this have been introduced at the federal level at least twice.

Arizona passed a similar law, but enforcement of its law granting ‘personhood’ to fetuses has been blocked by a court, said Elizabeth Nash, who studies state abortion policy for the Guttmacher Institute. .

Georgia’s tax ruling is the broadest interpretation of fetal personality to be adopted so far, she said through a spokesperson.

The ACLU of Georgia, which is one of several groups suing to block the law, said while a tax break is welcome, granting full personality to an embryo is dangerous.

“We are all for support measures for pregnant women, through tax credits or otherwise. What is dangerous and confusing is Georgia’s attempt to treat an embryo in the early days of pregnancy as a person with rights equivalent to those of the pregnant person,” said Julia Kaye, attorney for the ACLU Reproductive. Freedom Project.

The Georgia Department of Revenue did not immediately respond to a request for comment or clarification from Reuters.

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Reporting by Sharon Bernstein Editing by Bill Berkrot

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