Senators Introduce Legislation to Give Mothers the Ability to Receive Child Support While They Are Pregnant

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) introduced the “Unborn Child Support Act” today, a bill to give mothers the ability to receive child support payments while they are pregnant.

“Life begins at conception. Our laws should reflect that truth, especially when it comes to helping mothers provide for the welfare of their children,” said Senator Cramer. “If we are going to be pro-life, we should be pro-all-of-life and ensure we give moms the support they need.”

Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) joined the bill as original cosponsors.

“Fatherhood is an important responsibility,” said Senator Daines. “This bill supports new mothers and their unborn children throughout pregnancy by ensuring that expectant fathers take responsibility for the new life they helped create, from the moment that life first begins.”

“Fathers have serious obligations to the mothers of their children that start well before birth,” said Senator Cotton. “Our bill will ensure men live up to their responsibilities as fathers by providing financial support to mothers throughout the course of pregnancy.”

“Because we know that life begins at conception, we need to support mothers who may require additional assistance throughout their pregnancy. Encouraging mothers to choose life requires us to look at the challenges they may face as they become parents,” said Senator Blackburn. “We have a responsibility to evaluate what resources need to be available in order for an unborn child to have the opportunity to live a full life.”

“Life begins at conception, period,” said Senator Inhofe. “When you realize this, it is easy to support legislation that recognizes the unborn for what they are: living human beings with inherent worth. I am proud to join Senator Cramer in introducing the Unborn Child Support Act, straightforward legislation that provides mothers with the option to receive child support payments while their child is in the womb. We must keep fighting to protect the dignity of every human being and ensure that we support mothers in the process.”

The Unborn Child Support Act allows a court, in consultation with the mother, to award child support payments while the child is still in the womb and retroactively up to the point of conception as determined by a physician. It also:

  • Provides flexibility for mothers who do not want involvement of the father by not requiring those mothers to receive child support.
  • Requires judges to consult with mothers on payment plans and gives mothers discretion as to whether or not child support payments will be awarded retroactively.
  • Mandates that all paternity tests be at the discretion of the mother and not be conducted if the test would put the child at risk.

This legislation is supported by the Susan B. Anthony List, as well as the March for Life organization.