As part of the proposed legislation, contributions can be made to a fetus' 529 college savings account, Rewire reports. On the surface, it may seem fair enough that expectant parents can start saving as soon as possible — but the catch is that they already can.
As explained by Forbes, parents and expectant parents can start saving for college early by setting up a 529 under their own names. When their child is born, they simply switch the beneficiary's name. So it appears that this is yet another GOP attempt to push the argument that life begins at the moment of conception.
The bill summary elaborates on its definition of what constitutes a person: "The term 'unborn child' means a child in utero. A child in utero means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb."
"The GOP’s tax proposal's inclusion of 'personhood' language makes one thing clear: that their anti-choice ideology knows no bounds or common sense," Kaylie Hanson Long of NARAL Pro-Choice America told Refinery29 in an email statement. "We know that while they are busy trying to pass this tax proposal into law, they are also turning their backs on kids, women, families, seniors, and the disabled — those who stand to lose the most in this tax bill."
Tom McClusky, president of the anti-abortion organization March for Life Action, said the 529 update isn't a measure that the group pushed for but expressed that he's happy about its inclusion. "We’re thrilled about it, but it wasn’t something that we were specifically calling for. We’ll fight to make sure it stays in there," McClusky said, as reported by Politico.
Although it's perfectly reasonable for parents to plan ahead when saving for their children's education, they are already able to do this — so it's hard to deny that the language in the GOP's tax plan was motivated by their anti-choice agenda.