Taxes: If I can't abort my fetus because it's a person, should I get to claim it as a dependent?

I suppose this question is for the anti-abortion folks posting, but it’s just something I was thinking about the other day. Just an interesting little debate topic.

If the contention made by pro-lifers is that a fetus is a person and, as such, can’t be aborted-- should I (under that rationale) be allowed to claim my unborn fetus as a dependent/tax deduction on my income tax returns? Naturally, this assumes that the baby hasn’t been actually born during the tax period (because once born, the baby is a qualified dependent expense for the year, even if born on December 31st).

To me, under the pro-life logic, I have to do everything in my power to keep this little person alive and well (otherwise I’m causing harm to a person, not a clump of cells). Shouldn’t I then get some way to offset the expenses related to that, just like parents do for the care of their already born kids? “Medical expenses” aren’t really deductible for most folks (the income percentage requirement is too high for most), so that wont really offset the fetal care costs.

Alright, I’m babbling. Discuss :).

BTW: Despite me talking in a tone that suggests I am, I would like to assure you all that I’m not pregnant. At least, I better not be. . . :mad:;))

Nope. You should be jailed for false imprisonment! You have no moral right to keep that poor, helpless baby imprisoned in a confined space for nine months! How dare you!

Also child abuse. Not only do you never interact with that child and keep him physically restrained and tied to you at all times, you feed him exclusively with blood. What the fuck’s the matter with you ?!

I’m missing the OP’s angle here. Pro-life people tend to not be very protective of the government’s ability to tax. So the less taxes, the better.

I’d be surprised if there was not already some kind of pregnancy deduction already written into the tax code, although with the aim of encouraging families rather than to make some point about the status of the fetus.

Don’t forget driving in the HOV lane on your way of filing your taxes.

It’s an interesting hypothetical. The idea behind a tax deduction for dependents is to help offset the cost of supporting said dependents. Now, obviously, the support costs for a fetus is lower. You don’t have to pay for things like clothing or education, and food costs are negligible, because you would eat the food nevertheless. It might make some sense to allow partial deductions or credits for Oby/Gyn visits, though.

I’m Tired Of Looking At These Same Four Uterine Walls


The hypothetical woman should go to jail for pedophilia. Putting any part of a child into your vagina is disgusting. Even more so because it is your own child!

Doesn’t the tax code already allow for medical cost deductions?

But as you said, claiming someone as a dependent is to help defray the costs of supporting them, and fetuses don’t incur much in the way of costs that aren’t medical, so I’m not sure what other costs could be included if they were allowed to be a dependent. Purchases to be used for after their birth (clothing, furnishings, food etc) don’t seem to count given the deductions during their first year of life ought to account for all of that. I guess there’s maternity clothes and a small uptick in food costs - women shouldn’t literally be eating for two, so it’s unlikely that her food bill would be as high as double before unless she was previously had a cheap and unhealthy diet - as necessary expenses, but I can’t see most women spending so much that a deduction or credit would have much of an effect on her tax burden.

Many states have safe abandonment laws that protect a mother from prosecution if she drops an unwanted child off at a safe place such as hospital or fire station. So just head on down to Planned Parenthood’s Medical Abandonment clinic where you can drop off your unborn fetus. “We did everything we could to save that [del]cluster of cells[/del] poor child, but he just didn’t make it!”

You raise a legitimate issue.

Speaking as a Pro Life advocate I say yes, a pregnant woman
should be able to claim her unborn child as a dependent.

What’s your logic? With the obvious exception of obstetrics care, a fetus/unborn child doesn’t really cost the woman much.

A larger personal exemption might make the most sense.

Without looking anything up isn’t the whole 9-month bill in the $1000s
for all recommended prenatal care plus cost of delivery, plus (for most
women) loss of income plus whatever else I can’t think of at the moment?

That’s right .But if the woman has a live birth at 11:59 pm Dec 31 2010, she’s entitled to an exemption on her 2010 taxes. If she has a still birth on Dec 31, no exemption. If the baby is born at 11:50 pm Dec 31 and dies at 11:51 , she’s entitled to the exemption. If she gives birth at 12:01 am Jan 1,2011, she’s not. There’s no real difference in the cost, or even when they were incurred or paid in any of these scenarios. The only difference is whether the baby is born alive before the end of Dec 31

What ( I think ) the OP is talking about is the lack of logic when people take the position that a fetus is a person only for the purpose of prohibiting an abortion. I’ve never heard anyone taking the position that a fetus is a person for any other purpose- not for a tax deduction , or for inheritance purposes , or calculating social security disability benefits, etc. And none of those issues have anything to do with the actual costs. It’s less expensive to support an exclusively breast-fed baby using his 5 year old brother’s hand-me-down clothes and equipment than it is to support the five year old brother - but it’s same exemption or social security eligibility for both.

I do not believe that a fetus needs to be considered a “person” with all that legally entails, before it can be protected by law.

I don’t really have a dog in this fight, but it certainly does cost something to be pregnant. And not just medical expenses. New clothes for the woman, more food, better types of food, time off work, extra gas driving to doctor’s appointments…

We don’t prorate the dependent deduction by calculating how much each given year of childhood might cost the parents, so I don’t see why it should be an issue.

But that is the stated basis for most anti-abortion arguments, IME.