“It is… hard to take seriously the impassioned pleas of Republicans for this body to defend the existence of an unborn fetus when they seem to care so little about the many existential threats to every American after birth. … It seems that after birth, life matters a little less to some people in this body.
So said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., on the Senate floor in May in support of the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act, which would effectively make abortion the application, until birth, legal throughout the country.
“Whether [Republicans] refuse to support life after birth, how can they claim to believe in it before? The truth is, it’s not about life and it never was. This is about taking power and control,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., wrote in a Tweeter June 24, the day Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was returned.
Using such rhetoric, the abortion movement has repeatedly attempted to denigrate pro-lifers with the misguided claim that the pro-life movement does not care about mothers and their children after birth.
For those who do not even want to acknowledge the humanity of an unborn child, it is seemingly impossible to recognize that there is already a vast pro-life safety net that provides women and their children with love, support and protection they deserve far beyond the moment of birth.
Today, there are at least 2,700 pregnancy pro-life resource centers nationwide, served by more than 10,000 healthcare professionals, reaching nearly 2,000,000 women, men and young people. per year and offering services ranging from sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment to free ultrasounds, parenting classes, maternity clinics and job training referrals, all at little to no cost.
The combined value of these services and more, mostly supported by the private sector, was at least $266 million in 2019.
Life Advocates have also been the driving force behind the creation and expansion of child tax credits and adoption tax credits at the federal and state levels.
Congressional Republicans passed the first federal child tax credit in September 1997, just weeks before Ocasio-Cortez’s eighth birthday. State and federal child tax credits have returned more than $1 trillion to families over the past quarter century.
Another encouraging sign is the current wave of actions for mothers and babies in a wide range of pro-life Southern states. These states are simultaneously acting to limit abortion and intensify efforts to support both mother and child during and after birth.
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 5 in April, which, in addition to banning abortion after 15 weeks’ gestation, included $1,602,000 in recurring funds for the Department of Health to establish health committees. examination of fetal and infant mortality in each region of the state.
It also requires that the comprehensive statewide tobacco use education and prevention program include information for pregnant women and women who may become pregnant.
HB 5 comes a year after DeSantis signed SB 2518, effectively expanding postpartum Medicaid eligibility from 60 days to 12 months of coverage. In April, DeSantis signed HB 7065, which “helps create and maintain safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for children and families that allow children to grow to their full potential” by implementing programs education and mentoring.
The bill encourages involved fatherhood and is tied to $70 million in funding to the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Children and Families to provide support for families and youth.
In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott supported the Texas Health and Human Services Coalition in launching a website to serve as a resource for families, including pregnant women and new families, to find and receive care and support they need.
The state has also allocated $100 million of its budget this biennium to its Alternatives to Abortion program (a twenty-fold increase in funding since 2006), a program that “promotes childbirth and provides support services to women pregnant women and their families, adoptive parents and parents who have had a miscarriage or the loss of a child.
In Georgia, a six-week “heartbeat” abortion law recently went into effect. The Betsy Law (SB 116) allows nonprofit organizations to provide free housing to mothers and their children in need. Gov. Brian Kemp said the bill will “support Georgian mothers and their newborns” and maintain “Georgia’s reputation as a state that protects life at all stages.”
Kemp also signed a Medicaid Postpartum Extension bill, which went into effect in July, extending coverage from six months to one year after birth.
In Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee has proposed new pregnancy and postpartum benefits that include an extension of health care from 60 days to 12 months through TennCare’s Medicaid program in Tennessee, which provides health insurance to approximately 1.6 million low-income Tennesseans, including pregnant women and children.
The state also launched Tennessee Fosters Hope, a public-private alliance that engages “state agencies, community organizations, businesses, and places of worship to improve high-quality care and opportunities for children.” and families affected by foster care and adoption”.
Unfortunately, even as the pro-life movement continues to support women before, during and after the birth of their child, doctrinaire abortion advocates have sought to prevent women and children from receiving the care they deserve. .
Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said this “[w]With Roe gone, cracking down on so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” is more important than ever. This crackdown on pregnancy resource centers is not just theoretical, but embodied in actions like Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s veto of $21.4 million in state budget line items. who support both mothers and adoption.
The most extreme is the action of groups such as Jane’s Revenge, which takes credit for the firebombings and vandalism of pregnancy resource centers and churches across the country.
While pro-life Southern states have combined limits on abortion with real support and resources for mothers and their children, the pro-abortion left has only redoubled accusations that pro- life do not take care of the mother and child after birth.
Fiery rhetoric and firebombs are hurled at the very places that serve these women and children. Despite these doomed hateful actions, pro-lifers have moved forward, relentlessly in their efforts to protect life at every step.
The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here should be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.
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