The GOP and Fetuses, Sittin' in a Tree...

...giving out tax credits for parents-to-be!

Another one for the "Couldn't Make It Up If I Tried" bin, here.  The Michigan GOP has proposed a new $160 tax credit for "women who are at least 12 weeks pregnant by the end of the year".  This is, mind you, after they voted to eliminated the $600 tax credit for actual born children last year.

Have children you're struggling to keep fed and healthy?  Fuck you!  In your first trimester of a pregnancy which may or may not come to term anyway because pregnancy is complicated shit?  Here, have some government money!

LOL consistency what?

It's an attempt to tiptoe their "fetal personhood" fetish a little further into law via taxation: "See, the tax code treats the fetus as a person for whom the parents can claim a tax credit!  Obviously this means they are a person and therefore have more rights to your body than you do."

I can't decide if they're getting sloppy - in particular the part about it contrasting so blatantly with eliminating the tax credit for actual children - or just getting bold.  Either way, it's pretty ridiculous.  In a scary sort of way.


Who needs science when you've got BELIEFS?

This is some fucking bullshit.

One of the approximately eleventy-smillion lawsuits against the contraceptive coverage portion of the ACA - which is apparently the hill-to-die-on du jour for the entire American right-wing establishment or something? - has seen a judge issue an injunction against enforcement of the contraceptive coverage mandate against a Bible/Christian lit publishing house in DC.  Which is bullshit for all sorts of reasons, but something jumped out at me in the linked news post:
[Plaintiffs argued] that their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act would be infringed by requiring their health plans to cover contraceptive methods that the company and its owners consider abortifacients-- Plan B, ella and intrauterine devices.
Did you catch it?  Here, in case you missed it:
[Plaintiffs argued] that their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act would be infringed by requiring their health plans to cover contraceptive methods that the company and its owners consider abortifacients-- Plan B, ella and intrauterine devices.
Apparently, the only standard required to be able to argue against a law is "I'm against what I think this thing does," irrespective of whether or not that is actually the case.

The argument for this specific issue tends to rest on questions of religious belief and infringement thereof.  But this whole thing about "abortifacient" birth control isn't a matter of religious belief that must be held sacrosanct.  It's a matter of refusing to acknowledge fucking basic scientific fact.  I don't care what you believe these methods of birth control do.  You are free to believe that car headlights damage one's night vision and thus make driving less safe...but that is objectively untrue, and that belief doesn't exempt you from having to have your lights on when you drive at night, because that risks other people's safety for the sake of your untrue beliefs.  All the evidence we have about how birth control works points to interruptions in the fertilization process PRIOR to implantation, which is when a pregnancy actually begins.  You can't have an abortifacient if there's no pregnancy occurring.  End of story.

Beliefs != laws.  Nor do they provide a legitimate reason for being exempted from the law, especially when it affects the lives and safety and health of others who may or may not even share in your beliefs in the first place.  No, it doesn't matter how much you stomp your feetses or cry about it.  Facts dictate the laws and you are not exempt from those laws simply because you refuse to accept the facts.

As always, XKCD sums it up beautifully:

[Two stick-figure people arguing, a student and their professor:

Student: Professor, that man claims the earth is 6,000 years old!
Professor: So?  Just use your head and don't concern yourself overmuch with what other people think.
Student: But he says the fossils in the mountains were put there in a flood!
Professor: Well, evidence suggests that they were not.
Student: But he - 
Professor: A million people can call the mountains a fiction.  Yet it need not trouble you as you stand atop them.
Student: But he believes the silliest things!
Professor: So?  The universe doesn't care what you believe.  The wonderful thing about science is that it doesn't ask for your faith.  It just asks for your eyes.
Student: But he's a U.S. Senator!
Professor:  Ah.  Then yes, we do have a bit of a situation.]


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