Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, introduced a legislative package titled the Providing for Life Act Sept. 15 in each member’s respective house of Congress.
The legislation’s proposals include expansion of the Child Tax Credit, increased tax relief for adoptive parents, authorization of new parents to pull forward their Social Security benefits for paid parental leave, incentives for states to require fathers to pay half of a mother’s medical costs during pregnancy, protection of the rights of pregnant college students and permission for pregnancy resource centers to receive federal funding.
The legislative package followed in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 ruling in a Mississippi case that reversed Roe v. Wade, a 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The high court’s opinion returned abortion policy to the states. Some states have outlawed most or all abortions, while others have promoted themselves as abortion destinations.
“America’s pro-abortion legal regime may be over, but our work is far from finished,” Rubio said in introducing the package. “Being truly pro-life requires an understanding of the pain and struggle, arising from serious difficulties and responsibilities motherhood entails, which lead a woman to abort her baby. As we take steps to protect the unborn, we have a duty to address those challenges.”
Pro-life and pro-family advocates endorsed the proposals.
“At this year’s annual meeting, our convention of churches affirmed our desire to ‘eliminate any perceived need for the horror of abortion,’” Southern Baptist public policy specialist Hannah Daniel said of a resolution approved by messengers to the convention in June.
The Providing for Life Act “contains a number of provisions consistent with that call,” said Daniel, policy manager for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). “It should be seen as a step in the right direction that lawmakers are putting forth proposals that are truly pro-mother and pro-family.
“The ERLC urges all of our nation’s leaders to continue efforts like this that seek to wrap around women and families and resource them to make life-affirming decisions,” she said in written comments for Baptist Press.