Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have introduced a bill which would allow mothers to receive child support benefits starting at the point of conception, should they request it.
The legislation, entitled the “Unborn Child Support Act,” would amend the Social Security Act “to ensure that child support for unborn children is collected and distributed under the child support enforcement program.”
According to the Cramer-Rubio bill, pregnant women would be able to request child support at the first month of conception, along with the successive months of the pregnancy — though the legislation does not legally require them to activate this benefit.
Mothers would also have the option of retroactively collecting these child support payments, if the paternity is only able to be established following the birth of the child.
“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 regarding the legislation.
Eight Republican senators have signed on to co-sponsor this bill, including Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Steve Daines (R-MT), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), James Lankford (R-OK), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Rick Scott (R-FL) and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
“I hope good legislation, like the Unborn Child Support Act, gets more support now that the Dobbs decision encourages us to look more seriously at supporting mothers and their unborn children,” said Hyde-Smith.
Partner legislation to the Senate bill has been introduced in the House chamber by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA).
The Unborn Child Support Act is just one of several GOP-proposed bills intended to support mothers following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade. The ruling returned the issue of abortion to the states, some of which have since banned or severely restricted the procedure, leaving most Democrats outraged.
On Thursday, Rubio also introduced the Standing with Moms Act, as part of what he called the “pro-life, pro-family framework” response to the high court’s decision.
The proposed legislation would fortify the child tax credit, provide additional funding to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and make the adoption tax credit fully refundable.