Various fiscal measures help parents with raising their children, typically through tax deductions, child care credits, education credits or child allowances. The goal is to increase fertility or simply help parents. The Liberal Party of Quebec, currently forming a minority government in the province, is thinking aloud about extending tax credits to fetuses of 20 weeks or more.
This is not as silly as it seems. After all, various social programmes are already in place to benefit pregnant women. For example, the WIC programme in the United States provides cheques to lower income women (either pregnant or with young children) to encourage them to buy healthy food. Other countries provide for maternity leave that can extend substantially into the pregnancy.
The innovation in Quebec would be simply extend the benefits for children to the latter stages of a first pregnancy. This would allow households to acquire the necessary goods for the baby before birth, something that may matter for cash constrained households. The credit would depend on household income and be paid out monthly. The pregnancy needs to be certified by a physician, thus encouraging women to be followed medically.