UK Post Observer

Bicameral Legislation Would Allow Pregnant Mothers to Receive Child Support

January 18, 2024

WASHINGTON – Nearly a year and a half after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the number of children born annually has increased by approximately 32,000 based on the first six months of 2023. The number of births also increased by 2.3% in states where abortion was banned.

To support expecting mothers and their unborn children, U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and U.S. Representative Claudia Tenney (R-NY-24) reintroduced the Unborn Child Support Act. This bicameral bill would allow mothers to receive child support from the father of their child during pregnancy. 

This piece of legislation would require judges to consult with mothers on payment plans and give mothers discretion as to whether or not child support payments will be awarded retroactively. In addition, the bill would direct all paternity tests be at the discretion of the mother and not be conducted if the test puts the child at risk.

“New mothers and unborn children deserve care from conception, and child support should reflect this. Modifying child support laws to allow pregnant mothers to receive it is commonsense and long overdue,” said Cramer. “Instead of imposing mandates, our bill empowers mothers by giving them the choice to receive pre-natal child support. Now, more than ever, there is a greater responsibility for Congress to pass legislation to protect and support mothers and children.”

“Every human life is important, and expecting mothers should have the physical, emotional, and financial support they need to reflect that,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “The Unborn Child Support Act provides mothers with the opportunity to access child support payments during pregnancy while giving them the flexibility to deny these payments, should they choose. I am honored to lead this bicameral legislation in the House and will continue to work to ensure mothers and their unborn children have the support they deserve from conception.” 

Additional cosponsors of the legislation include U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Katie Britt (R-AL), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), James Lankford (R-OK), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Roger Wicker (R-MS), and U.S. Representatives Ben Cline (R-VA-06), Clay Higgins (R-LA-03), Nick Langworthy (R-NY-23), Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL-13) and John Moolenaar (R-MI-02). 

The Unborn Child Support Act is endorsed by several organizations, including the March for Life Action, Susan B. Anthony (SBA) Pro-Life America, CatholicVote, National Right to Life, the Family Policy Alliance, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), the Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council, and the Americans United for Life (AUL).

Click here for bill text.

Throughout his time in Congress, Senator Cramer has cosponsored several pieces of legislation and initiatives supporting expectant mothers and the pro-life movement. 

In January 2023, Senator Cramer received the Life Protector Award from the North Dakota Right to Life (NDRL), and in July 2022, he reintroduced the Unborn Child Support Act. A few months later, he wrote an op-ed on the bill and the increased responsibility to protect and support women and unborn children.

“In this age of polarization, the Unborn Child Support Act is something all Americans should rally behind. It is a vital step toward ensuring mothers and children are well cared for and fathers embrace the responsibility of bringing life into the world,” Cramer wrote in his op-ed.

In June 2022, Senator Cramer and his Senate colleagues introduced a resolution celebrating the pro-life movement on its victory in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In July 2021, he joined more than 200 members of Congress in filing an amicus brief supporting the State of Mississippi in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and the state’s law protecting life.