Help mothers with unplanned pregnancies — reform child support, adoption

If you only listened to Hollywood, the corporate media and the political left, you’d be convinced that most women with unplanned pregnancies want (and need) abortions. But they’re wrong.

As a mom who went through two unplanned pregnancies by 22, I can tell you that their demoralizing message is a lie.

“You can’t do it,” they tell us. “It’s selfish to give birth when you’re poor,” they claim. ” “You’ll never finish college or get a career,” they add.

But the data show that most of us want support and resources, not abortions. As a country, I believe we must do more, because women deserve better.  

This debate should not be viewed in the context of tension between the needs of the mother and those of the child. Rather, the woman and her child must equal partners in this conversation. Our country is big enough and great enough to love and help them both — and not just to help the mother while she is pregnant, but also after she gives birth.

I know firsthand how critical postpartum support can be. Last month, members of Congress showed that they also understand. Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) introduced the Providing for Life Act in the House, one of the most pro-woman packages that Congress has ever considered. I believe this bill addresses some of the core challenges that women with unplanned pregnancies face. It provides long-lasting solutions for mother and child, both during and after pregnancy. 

For starters, it increases the refundable Child Tax Credit (CTC) and even extends the CTC to apply during pregnancy. This beautifully recognizes the humanity of babies in the womb and the costs that families face when preparing for birth.  

The Providing for Life Act cuts right to the heart of the problem and calls for child support reform, requiring biological fathers to bear equal financial responsibility for their children. This bill requires fathers to pay child support right from the beginning, and to start by covering at least half of the medical expenses incurred during pregnancy and delivery. 

Shortly after my second unplanned pregnancy with my daughter, I became a single mother. I quit college but found my way back through online courses. I studied when my baby napped. When she entered daycare, I moved to in-person classes. 

I’m not going to lie, it was hard and expensive. On top of working to finish college and care for my daughter, I had to fight for child support and medical care support from my daughter’s biological father. This remains a challenge to this day. 

My story isn’t unique. So many single mothers have to get by without any help from biological dads. This is a core problem. Why does our society offer pregnant mothers the two main options of either terminating a child or bearing full financial responsibility without any help from the father?  

Liberals often ask why more pro-lifers aren’t helping adopted children. They do, and this bill further addresses those concerns. It would make the Adoption Child Tax Credit fully refundable to cover the full adoption process, including legal fees. This will allow adoptive families to have more resources and financial support. This way, loving families won’t be priced out of adopting children in need. 

When I faced my first unplanned pregnancy with my son, I didn’t have the means to care for him. But I knew that he still deserved a life, so I made the tough decision of an open adoption with a loving family. But this new path didn’t come without its fair share of expenses for his adopted parents. By making the Adoption Child Tax Credit fully refundable, this process can become more affordable, connecting parents with children in need. 

To sum it all up, this bill presents solutions to core challenges facing expectant mothers. It provides aid through an expanded child tax credit, a fully refundable adoption tax credit, child support starting during pregnancy, and so much more.  

I can’t go back and rewrite history for my family, but I can look forward and definitively say that these lifelines will help mothers now and into the future. More moms will be able to provide and thrive. More dads will pay their fair share. More children will have loving adoptive families. 

The Providing for Life Act is what’s needed now. It should be a no-brainer for both Democrats and Republicans to rally behind, all in support of women and their kids.  

E.V. Osment, is vice president of communications at Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.

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