Ah, another campaign cycle and another attempt to pass a fetal personhood amendment, this time in Oklahoma. Now, I understand that many people consider abortion to be murder and, frankly, I’m not sure I would ever choose to have one. I’ve seen my two fetal ultrasounds and the resulting infants looked like them to a scary degree. However, I also make it a point to not be in a position where such a choice would be necessary for me to take. Many women are not so lucky.
So, leaving aside any ethical considerations, I have some logistical implementation questions.
Can I claim my embryo as a dependent for tax purposes? Can I get a Social Security Number for the embryo? What proof would I need to bring? If I bring in just a scan from the ultrasound how could you prove it was my embryo?
Can I claim storage costs for frozen embryos in a fertility clinic as a tax deduction? It’s paying for a dependent’s care.
If I miscarry can I claim a death benefit for my embryo? It’s the death of a child.
Should I be prevented from drinking alcohol during my pregnancy because it would be Contributing to the Delinquency of an Embryo? Are there other activities in which pregnant women could not participate because they constitute Child Endangerment? If you have a medical condition that is poorly controlled (e.g. gestational diabetes) does that count?
Can a pregnant woman be legally-excluded from establishments where children are not allowed? Even if it is normally part of her job to, say, work in a 21-and over bar or a chemistry laboratory?
Is it a violation of child labor laws for a pregnant woman to perform tasks which OSHA considers not allowed? This includes: mowing lawns, preparing meat, baking, or working in connection with the repair of machinery to name a few.
Do I automatically get a pass for the carpool lane in traffic? There’s two of us in the car.
Can I still have sex with my partner while pregnant or is that having a threesome? If it does, is that sexual abuse because we are forcing the embryo to take part in a non-consensual sex act?
This is satirical, but you can see that the implementation of such a law, despite its noble intentions (giving the benefit of the doubt here), would be a nightmare without some fairly specific exclusionary clauses.
Here’s a better idea: if you don’t want women to have abortions provide them with reasonable access to sex education and birth control.