Taxes: They can get confusing, pretty quickly.
And the tax plan that House Republicans unveiled this month — which is 429 pages long, contains hundreds of measures, and was written in secrecy by a small group of politicians — is no exception.
One measure in the tax plan, unfortunately, is an attempt to undermine access to safe, legal abortion.
This unnecessary measure uses the language around 529 accounts — a tax-free, state-sponsored investment fund where parents can put aside money for a child’s college education — to create an official definition of an “unborn” person.
The tax bill was introduced by anti-women politician Kevin Brady (R-TX), pictured here.
This measure is completely unnecessary. People can already very easily set up 529 accounts for their future kids. What’s more, anyone can open a 529 account today in their own name and later change it to their child’s name. There is no legitimate policy rationale for including this language in the tax bill.
The true intention of this measure? To advance an agenda designed to undermine women's health and rights. Extreme GOP politicians are so hell-bent on attacking the constitutional right to abortion that they’re trying to sneak one into a tax bill. Pathetic, right?
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) at a news conference for the GOP tax bill.
This isn’t even the first time they’ve tried this tactic. Republicans attempted to tack a similar measure onto the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) back in 2009 — but they were easily defeated.
It’s not surprising that some of the most extreme, ideological, and anti-women lobbying groups — including the Susan B. Anthony List and March for Life Action — have come out in support of this measure in this bill.
But the truth is that going after abortion access is wildly unpopular. Support for Roe v. Wade is the highest it’s ever been, with seven out of 10 people saying they believe a woman should have the right to safe, legal abortion. (For reference, that’s more popular than Congress, the Republican party, or the Democratic party).
Here’s the bottom line: politicians have no business attacking safe, legal abortion or our access to health care — but especially not in a tax bill.