New York Times, November 4, 2017
Jeremy W. Peters and Deborah B. Solomon


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[...] At a Values Voter Summit meeting here last month, Mr. Trump said he was committed to “stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values” and said the country’s religious heritage would be “cherished, protected and defended like you have never seen before.”

The tax bill seems to deliver on that front. Among the biggest wins for social conservatives is the inclusion of the words “unborn child” in the legislation.

The language is contained in an innocuous provision related to education savings vehicles — so-called 529 plans, which are state-sponsored, tax-free investment funds that allow families to put aside money for a child’s college education. The provision explicitly allows expectant parents to designate a “child in utero” as a beneficiary of a 529 plan.

Parents have long been able to set up 529 accounts for an unborn child, but the provision accomplishes what anti-abortion activists have long sought: It enshrines into federal law the recognition of the unborn.

“An unborn child means a child in utero,” the provision states. “A child in utero means a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, which opposes abortion rights, said the addition of the words “unborn child” was a major victory for their movement.

“It is fantastic because the unborn child is appropriately represented in the tax code,” she said. “All of these things represent a serious commitment to treating the unborn child, as she or he should be, equal and protected in the eyes of the law.” [...]

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