Republicans push pro-family, pro-mother policies in wake of Dobbs ruling
Republicans have pivoted to proposing a range of measures to provide a social safety net for women and families after endorsing the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, which ended the national right to an abortion.
While Democrats are hoping to downplay the state of the economy and make abortion a key issue going into the November midterm elections, Republicans are trying to win over suburban women and moderate voters after backing the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which returned the abortion issue back to the states.
On Wednesday, a group of Republicans led by Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., proposed bicameral legislation called the Unborn Child Support Act, which would allow expecting mothers to collect child support payments while they are pregnant.
“Caring for the well-being of our children begins long before a baby is born,” Cramer said in a statement announcing the proposal. “It begins at the first moment of life – conception – and fathers have obligations, financial and otherwise, during pregnancy. Mothers should be able to access child support payments as soon as she is supporting a child. Our bill makes this possible.”
Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., questions Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in Washington May 10, 2022 in Washington.
(Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)
Shortly after the Dobbs decision, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., released the framework for his Providing for Life Act, which he said would enact greater protections for new and expectant mothers and their babies “by enlarging the child tax credit, strengthening child support enforcement, creating a national clearinghouse for maternal resources, making adoption more affordable, providing for parental leave, and more.”
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“Today, even in blue states, women with unplanned pregnancies are feeling lost and confused. The lie that abortion is not only okay but normal and healthy is collapsing, but that doesn’t mean the challenges facing mothers and their children have disappeared,” Rubio wrote in an op-ed for Fox News Digital this month. “We have an opportunity to meet those women where they are with compassion and grace and remind them that they have options other than abortion. And we have an obligation to expand those options even further — to ensure America is safe for both mothers and their babies.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and members of Congress hold a news conference on the benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits at the VFW Building on April 13, 2021 in Washington, DC.
(Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Steve Daines, R-Mt., last month introduced a new version of Romney’s child allowance bill, dubbed the Family Security Act 2.0, which would provide monthly cash payments to working families.
“We must do better to help families meet the challenges they face as they take on the most important work any of us will ever do—raising our society’s children,” Romney said in announcing the legislation. “This proposal proves that we can accomplish this without adding to the deficit or creating another new federal program without any reforms.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., pointed to multiple proposed bills he said would support women in the post-Roe landscape, including the bipartisan Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act, which would authorize new federal grant programs aimed at reducing maternal mortality, the Educational Choice for Children Act, which would expand private school choice, and the bipartisan Connected MOM Act, which would require Medicare and Medicaid to provide remote monitoring resources for pregnant women.
“Being pro-life means being pro-mother and pro-family,” Cassidy said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “We need to provide parents the resources they need to raise a healthy family. That includes responsible parental leave, access to mental health care when needed, and school choice.”
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South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, who wants to ban all abortions in her state except to save the life of the mother, said “now is the time” for paid parental leave so that expecting families don’t face a “crisis situation.”
“I do think it’s important that we walk alongside people when they enter into a situation where maybe they have an unplanned pregnancy. And many women feel as though, when they get, have a pregnancy that’s not planned, that it’s a crisis situation,” Noem told CNN this month. “And we need to do a better job of supporting them.”
FILE – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Orlando, Fla.
(AP Photo/John Raoux)
Meanwhile, some Republicans are framing the current inflation crisis as a family issue.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said bringing down inflation, which hit a 40-year-high last month at 9.1%, should be the GOP’s top priority.
“Nothing affects families like inflation—forget taking vacations when even going to work or driving kids to school is unaffordable with 5 dollar gas,” Cotton said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Forget buying the food you want when inflation has made even the food you need too expensive. Democrats caused this inflation, and Americans know it.”
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said women’s access to health care is even more important now that Democrats are targeting crisis pregnancy centers following the Dobbs decision. Last month, four Democrats – Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore. – introduced legislation to “crack down on false advertising” by pro-life pregnancy centers that seek to persuade women against getting an abortion.
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“Democrats in Congress are so radically pro-abortion they want to deny women healthcare by shutting down free pregnancy clinics,” Hawley said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Republicans have to stop them and protect mothers’ access to care. We need to cut red tape for adoption and bring back good paying jobs from overseas so working people can support their families with good wages.”
Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves, who recently signed the Pregnancy Resource Act, which created a new tax credit for those who donate to crisis pregnancy centers in the state, told “Fox News Sunday” this month that the pro-life movement is shifting toward a “culture of life” by investing in providing “the resources to mothers and babies that they need.”