Embryos are Children, so They’ll be Eligible for Child Tax Credits, Right?

The world-at-large continues its topsy-turvy brand of outrageous as this week a group of Supreme Court justices in Alabama rule that frozen embryos stored outside the uterus are children.

Ok then, time to start assigning social security numbers to all these children so their parents can list them on their annual income taxes and get the deductions, child and earned income tax credits they deserve.

Granted, this decision only affects Alabama (right now), but if we use the overturning of Roe as a guide for how this journey will go, more states are likely to follow suit. This case simply opens the door and invites them to get in line. (Recall that leading up to the overturning of Roe, states were already chipping away at it with increasingly restrictive abortion bans).

Using Alabama’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act (intended to allow parents to recover punitive damages for the death of a child) and its applicability to unborn children in the womb (such as those being carried in the womb of a pregnant person), the Court has now chosen to extend that protection to unborn “children” wherever they may exist, even outside of the womb, specifically “… to all unborn children, without limitation.” Say, for example, in test tubes and specimen trays in a lab and in cryogenic freezers in fertility centers.

This is a hugely flawed decision and another example of the law being out of step with the advancements of modern life, medicine, and technology.

While my heart wrenches for those who’ve lost the opportunity for potential future children due to the loss or damage of their embryos, the fact remains that each of those embryos is merely a potential future child. Not every embryo will implant after transfer, in fact, the implantation survival rate tops out at 50-60% and is generally only considered successful once it has resulted in a live birth. There are many, many factors at play between specimen collection and the live birth of a child. Countless issues may arise at any time that will impact the outcome, just as happens with any traditionally conceived pregnancy.

“… without limitation.” So, are we prepared to consider then that even just the finite existence of 1-2 million eggs in someone’s ovaries are also unborn children? How about the approximate 66 million sperm in each milliliter of ejaculate? Are they, too, to be considered unborn children? The road doesn’t get any slipperier than this.

At the end of the day, what becomes most clear through this and other recent decisions, is that there is indeed a war waging against the reproductive rights and overall autonomy of those among us with the potential to bear children. It’s really feeling like the far-right extreme won’t stop until anyone with the ability to give birth is once again viewed as the property of their fathers and husbands, and are subsequently forced to be both subservient to and fully dependent upon them.

Am I stretching? No, I really don’t believe that I am.

A. Voice

A. Voice is a freelance writer and amateur political enthusiast. She is passionate about motivating people to exercise their voting power toward affecting the changes needed to make this world a cleaner, safer, more equitable place for all.

Her educational background includes a BA in Communication and a lifetime of informal, self-directed study across a wide range of subject areas.

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