The Georgia Department of Revenue released a guidance on Monday announcing that parents in Georgia can now apply for a tax break for unborn babies “with a detectable human heartbeat.”
According to The Christian Post, the guidance was published in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case in June, which resulted in the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
The overturning of Roe sent the issue of abortion back to the states. Some states have already placed restrictions on abortions or have banned the procedure altogether.
On Monday, the Georgia Department of Revenue issued a guidance noting that the state will now recognize “any unborn child with a detectable human heartbeat … as eligible for the Georgia individual income tax dependent exemption.”
Between July 20 and Dec. 31, 2022, expecting parents can claim exemptions of $3,000 for each unborn child they have on their 2022 individual income tax returns.
According to the state, taxpayers seeking to claim the deduction could be asked to verify the claim by providing “income tax return, relevant medical records or other supporting documentation.”
The guidance concluded by announcing that the state will provide additional instructions on how to claim the personal exemptions for “an unborn child with a detectable heartbeat” later this year.
Lauren Groh-Wargo, the campaign manager for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, expressed concerns about the guidance.
“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?” she asked on Twitter on Tuesday.
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?
— Lauren Groh-Wargo (@gwlauren) August 2, 2022
The guidance was also released following the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Sistersong v. Kemp on July 20, which asserts that the state “will recognize any unborn child with a detectable human heartbeat” and allows the state’s six-week abortion ban after is to take effect right away.
Following the district ruling, the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood called the decision “highly unorthodox” and “horrific.”
“This is a highly unorthodox action that will immediately push essential abortion care out of reach for patients beyond the earliest stages of pregnancy. Across the state, providers are now being forced to turn away patients who thought they would be able to access abortion, immediately changing the course of their lives and futures,” both organizations said in a joint statement.
“This is horrific. We’ll continue doing everything in our power to fight for abortion access in Georgia in the face of these harmful attacks on people’s ability to control if and when to have a child.”
The ban, titled The Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act, was signed into law by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in 2019.
“Georgia is a state that values life,” Kemp said as he signed the legislation. “We protect the innocent. We champion the vulnerable, we stand up and speak for those that are unable to speak for themselves.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Olga Kurbatova
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.