Sens. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced legislation this week that would allow mothers to collect child support benefits, beginning at the point of conception.
The 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 Cramer-Rubio bill, mothers would be able to request child support at the first month of conception, along with the successive months of a pregnancy. However, the mothers would not be legally required to activate this benefit.
Also, mothers would have the option of collecting child support payments retroactively, provided the paternity is only established after 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," Sen. Cramer said of the bill.
Eight Republican senators are co-sponsoring this bill: Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Steve Daines, R-Mont., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., James Lankford, R-Okla., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss.
In the House chamber, Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., introduced partner legislation to the Unborn Child Support Act.
"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," Sen. Hyde-Smith said.
The Unborn Child Support Act is one of numerous Republican bills crafted to support mothers in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling (6-3 decision) that overturned Roe v. Wade.
On Thursday, Rubio also introduced the Standing with Moms Act, as part of the "pro-life, pro-family framework" response to the Supreme Court striking down Roe on June 24 (by a 5-4 decision).
The Standing with Moms proposal 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.
The flurry of Republican bills could be an indirect response to a viral tweet from May, when Washington and Lee University law school associate professor Carliss Chatman wondered, "If a fetus is a person at 6 weeks pregnant, is that when the child support starts? ... Just figuring if we're going here we should go all in."
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