November 27, 2012 — Michigan lawmakers last week decided to put off consideration of two bills (HB 5684, HB 5685) that would have allowed state residents to claim fetuses as dependents on their tax returns, MLive reports.
The bills would expand an existing tax exemption for dependent children, which supporters said would give parents extra money to put toward medical bills or other costs. Taxpayers would qualify for the exemption, which would be worth about $160, if a physician determined that the pregnancy was at least 12 weeks along at the end of the tax year.
The House Tax Policy Committee had been scheduled to consider the bills on Monday, but they were pulled from the agenda last week -- a move that suggests lawmakers are not ready to debate the measures, according to MLive.
The National Organization for Women said the bills appear to be an attempt to give "legal recognition to the unborn in tax law," which could pave the way for future abortion restrictions.
The bill also drew criticism from Democratic lawmakers, who noted that Republicans recently approved elimination of several other tax credits and deductions that benefit Michigan families, while lowering overall tax bills for Michigan businesses (Martin, MLive, 11/22).