GOP Fails To Sneak Anti-Choice Language Into Disastrous Tax Bill

By on December 2, 2017

There are a plethora of provisions in the GOP tax bill that passed last night that will do no good for the average American worker. The bill was passed early Saturday, in the dead of night, and included many hand-written changes so that the bill could garner the votes needed to pass from holdout senators.

It is a travesty of a bill beyond what can be expressed here. But one provision of the tax bill was fortunately removed due to a Congressional rule: an attempt to place anti-reproductive choice language into the law in order to lay the groundwork for overturning the right of women to seek an abortion.

A provision in the original bill alterred 529 college savings plans, allowing fetuses to become beneficiaries of college savings accounts. While seemingly innocuous, the provision is a Trojan Horse, meant to establish the precedent of personhood for the unborn (how can someone be a beneficiary, for instance, if they’re not a person?).

If that precedent had become the legal standard, it would have moved the anti-choice movement a huge step forward toward undoing reproductive rights for women across America.

Fortunately, the language that would have been unduly inserted into a tax bill was deemed to go against the Byrd Rule, which prohibits “extraneous” provisions from being included in a reconciliation bill or in conference. Since the House and Senate bills will require a conference committee, that provision will be removed from the final bill, according to the Wall Street Journal.

As well it should. Social topics like changing the definition of personhood or attempting to repeal reproductive rights for millions of American women should not be part of a fiscal bill in Congress.

The underhanded manner in which Republicans are attempting to change the law isn’t entirely surprising — we’ve seen the GOP go to incredible, unprecedented lengths to obstruct former President Barack Obama in the past, and to placate current President Donald Trump — but they are still shocking and abhorrent, and need to be called out as much whenever possible.