Politics

Georgia rules ‘any unborn child’ can now be listed as dependents on tax returns

Georgia’s department of revenue on Monday announced residents can now claim “any unborn child with a detectable heartbeat” as a dependent on their tax returns.

The department stated in a news release: “In light of the June 24, 2022, U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and the July 20, 2022, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Sistersong v. Kemp, the Department will recognize any unborn child with a detectable human heartbeat…as eligible for the Georgia individual income tax.”

Officials said that residents can claim a deduction of up to $3,000 for any fetus whose heartbeat could be detected, which they said “may occur as early as six weeks’ gestation.” In order to claim them as dependents, residents must provide “relevant medical records or other supporting documentation … if requested by the [revenue] department.”

Georgia is one of many states that have banned or restricted abortion after the Supreme Court. Georgia’s anti-abortion law, which is known as “Living Infant and Fairness Equality (LIFE) Act,” bars doctors from performing an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. The law includes exemptions, such as in cases where it “is necessary in order to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or the substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.”

As the New York Post reports, the LIFE Act was originally passed in 2019 but was ruled unconstitutional in July 2020. That decision was reversed in July 2022 when the Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision to return the legality of abortion back to individual states.

Lauren Groh-Wargo, who manages Stacey Abrams’ (D) campaign for Georgia governor, on Twitter questioned if a woman would face legal troubles for miscarrying a child that they previously listed as a dependent. She said in the Tweet: “So what happens when you claim your fetus as a dependent and then miscarry later in the pregnancy, you get investigated both for tax fraud and an illegal abortion?”

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: THE GUARDIAN

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