Credit: Creative Commons

Overview:

Suffering criticism after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Senate and House Republicans are introducing legislation they say will help moms and babies.

Republicans in the Senate and the House have introduced legislation to put dads-to-be on the hook for the babies they create.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, and North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer, introduced the Unborn Child Support Act to let pregnant women collect child support from the time their babies are conceived. Rep. Mike Johnson, a Louisiana republican, introduced partner legislation to the in the House. 

The bicameral bill would amend the Social Security Act “to ensure that child support for unborn children is collected and distributed under the child support enforcement program.”

Under the bill, mothers could request child support from the month of conception onward, but they would not be required to do so. In the case of paternity being established after a child is born, mothers would be able to request child support retroactively through the month of conception.  

“Caring for the well-being of our children begins long before a baby is born. It begins at the first moment of life — conception — and fathers have obligations, financial and otherwise, during pregnancy,” Cramer said of the bill.

“Caring for the well-being of our children begins long before a baby is born. It begins at the first moment of life – conception – and fathers have obligations, financial and otherwise, during pregnancy,” Cramer said.  “Mothers should be able to access child support payments as soon as she is supporting a child. Our bill makes this possible.”

Eight Republican senators are cosponsoring the bill, including Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss).

Republicans are openly contending with criticism that they don’t care about mothers or their children once they have been born.

The Unborn Child Support Act is one of multiple bills proposed by Republicans who say they want to support mothers following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling, which overturned Roe v. Wade and removed the constitutional right to abortion for American women.

Rubio introduced another bill, the Standing with Moms Act, as part of the “pro-life, pro-family framework” he suggested after the Dobbs decision.

The framework proposes an expansion of the child tax credit, additional funding to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and other financial measures to support children.

In a statement, Cramer suggested support for the initiative by referencing a Bucknell University Institute for Public Policy poll which found that about half of respondents favored the payments beginning at conception, including 53 percent of Democrats, 47 percent of Republicans and 40 percent of independents.

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