The state of Georgia has announced that residents can claim embryos with cardiac activity as dependents on their tax returns.
The Monday statement from the Department of Revenue, citing a June 24, 2022 ruling by the US Supreme Court striking down Roe vs. Wade, is among the first concrete guidance from the state about the implications of its anti-abortion law's personhood provision, Axios reports.
The provision grants full constitutional rights to any embryo or fetus with a detectable heartbeat.
What's happening: From July 20, 2022, taxpayers can claim an exemption in the amount of $3,000 per embryo, according to the department.
- "Relevant medical records or other supporting documents" may need to be provided.
The big picture: Following the reversal of Roe v. Wade, a challenge to Georgia's anti-abortion law and its personhood language failed in federal court. Opponents have since sued in Georgia state court. -Axios
Similar personhood provisions have been challenged in other states such as Arizona, where a judge halted its implementation because it was "unconstitutionally vague."
Prior to Monday's announcement, the Georgia Department of Public Health had already updated its literature on the "Women's Right to Know" policy to include abortion restrictions set out by HB 481.
The state also updated their definition of "medical emergency" - an exemption under the new law.
There are three exceptions to Georgia's anti-abortion law;
First, if a pregnancy occurs due to rape or incest it can be terminated as long as a police report is filed documenting the crime.
Second, if it is determined that the pregnancy presents a serious risk to the life of the mother.
Third, if there is a medical condition which naturally renders the fetus unviable.
The law also defines a “natural person” to include unborn children, granting personhood to babies still in the womb.
Now, the question is whether the Georgia Department of Transportation will consider a fetus valid for HOV lanes.