Republican Bill Would Allow Expecting Moms to Collect Child Support Payments While Pregnant

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 18, 2022   |   11:10AM   |   Washington, DC

Federal Republican lawmakers are working on new ways to help pregnant mothers in need after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, including a bill to expand child support for unborn babies.

The Unborn Child Support Act will affirm unborn babies’ value and help struggling mothers choose life by allowing women to collect child support payments before they give birth, according to Fox News.

“Caring for the well-being of our children begins long before a baby is born,” said U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-North Dakota, a lead sponsor of the bill. “It begins at the first moment of life – conception – and fathers have obligations, financial and otherwise, during pregnancy. Mothers should be able to access child support payments as soon as she is supporting a child.”

The bill would allow judges to award child support payments for unborn babies at the mother’s request, including retroactive payments after paternity is established. It also would provide flexibility for mothers who do not want the father to be involved, often because of abuse.

U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, who introduced the bill in the U.S. House, said the legislation recognizes that unborn babies are valuable children from the moment their lives begin.

“Life begins at conception, and this bill is a straightforward first step towards updating our federal laws to reflect that fact. We are hopeful that Democrats will join this bicameral effort to provide mothers with child support payments while their child is in the womb,” Johnson said.

Now that Roe is gone and states are allowed to protect unborn babies from abortion again, pro-life advocates are working to expand the support services that they have been offering for decades to help families choose life for their unborn babies.

This includes legislation that affirms life and expands resources for families in need. According to the report, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, recently introduced another pro-life bill, the Providing for Life Act, to expand the child tax credit and make adoption more affordable. His bill also would create a national database to help connect mothers to maternal resources and provide parental leave.

In an op-ed at Fox News this month, Rubio wrote:

“Today, even in blue states, women with unplanned pregnancies are feeling lost and confused. The lie that abortion is not only okay but normal and healthy is collapsing, but that doesn’t mean the challenges facing mothers and their children have disappeared. We have an opportunity to meet those women where they are with compassion and grace and remind them that they have options other than abortion. And we have an obligation to expand those options even further — to ensure America is safe for both mothers and their babies.”

Other federal legislation also aims to bolster maternal health care and pregnancy and parenting resources, including tax code reforms to help working families, new federal grants to reduce maternal mortality, and new resources for pregnant mothers through Medicare/Medicaid.

At the state level, many pro-life lawmakers are working to improve maternal health care and expand support for mothers and unborn babies, too. For example, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves recently signed a bill creating a new tax credit for people who donate to pregnancy resource centers, according to the report.

In 2019, when Georgia passed its heartbeat law, lawmakers included measures to allow parents to claim unborn babies as dependents on their taxes and allow mothers to collect child support for pregnancy and delivery costs from the father prior to the baby’s birth. Last year, Texas lawmakers also increased funding for its Alternatives to Abortion and Healthy Texas Women programs while passing abortion bans to protect unborn babies.

These are just a few examples of the many ways state and federal lawmakers are working with pro-life leaders to support and empower mothers to choose life for their unborn babies.