Back in 2004 I wrote a screenplay entitled On The Edge. It did ok. It won some screenwriting awards and garnered interest from Lifetime Television. I take it out and revisit in often. I wish I could get it made now. I wrote it in response to a bill that President Bush had signed into law in April 2004, called the Laci and Conner Bill. The bill made it a separate crime to kill or harm an unborn child during an assault on the mother.
People loved this bill. They thought it was great because it held a bad person accountable for a violent act. It was positioned brilliantly and marketed in exactly the right way. Because, of course we should be outraged if an unborn baby is killed when a mother is killed by someone who we know should be severely punished for their actions.
But it wasn't really about that at all. It was about abortion. It was about the right to choose. It was yet another attempt to chip away at Roe v. Wade by defining an "unborn child" as "a child in utero, which means "a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb."
I'm bringing this up today because buried deep within the already offensive language of the current tax bill are two words that quietly threaten abortion rights.
The bill lists “unborn children” among the allowed beneficiaries of 529 plans for college savings, breaking down the legal definition of an “unborn child” as follows:
“Nothing shall prevent an unborn child from being treated as a designated beneficiary or an individual under this section. The term ‘unborn child’ means a child in utero. The term ‘child in utero’ means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.”
Pro-life advocates are smart. They've been smart all along. Look at the brilliant positioning in their terminology. "Pro-Life." Really, how can anyone not be pro-life? Pro-choice supporters are not anti life. They don't want babies killed. They want choice. But we, instead, have to fight against what the opposite of "pro-life" implies. Constantly. This is so smart. Brilliant really.
But I digress.
This bill and it's hidden anti-abortion agenda language is something we should be aware of. And I wouldn't have been except that someone posted something about it on Facebook. And then I shared it. Thank god for social media.
I am sure that there are so many other hidden pieces of legislation in this abomination called a tax bill. Because there are hidden pieces of legislation in ever bill that is ever voted on. Legislation that sometimes looks like it may have something to do with the bill being voted on, but just as often having nothing to do with it at all.
And so we must not only be vigilant about the obvious agendas that are unfolding before us, we need to constantly be aware of the hidden deals, as slippery politicians plant obscure language deep within the verbose rhetoric that is the language of our government.
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