GUEST POST: As anyone who buys the groceries can tell you, significant inflation, and years of uncertainty through the pandemic have made it harder for families. A historic decline in the national birthrate suggests that there will be fewer families, perhaps in part due to these challenges. But commonsense, pro-family policies can address some of the concerns of American parents at the federal, state, and local levels of government. As it turns out, people like policies that make it easier for families to have children.
A new report, released by the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) and the Institute for Family Studies, summarizes new findings and suggests specific ideas for meeting the needs of families.
Report author Patrick T. Brown, an EPPC fellow, examined data from a YouGov poll of 2,557 U.S. adults, including an oversample of parents. Here are three things that Americans want:
1. Strong Child Tax Credit
Americans support the Child Tax Credit. Among parents, 82% of parents agree that a family with a worker present should be eligible for the full value of the Child Tax Credit. Students for Life of America has advocated for the expanded Child Tax Credit, which was raised to $2,000 per child in 2017.
This fiscal policy with widespread appeal offers greater opportunity and flexibility for families with children. From offsetting the costs of childcare to facilitating business development and career changes, the child tax credit can help parents.
If the Congress does not renew the Child Tax Credit, the expanded eligibility and benefits will expire in 2025. This is a policy that parents support because is makes a difference.
2. Paid Leave for New Parents
The report found that Americans want policies that support new parents with broad-based eligibility. Of those surveyed, 71% of parents support a federal six-week benefit for new moms.
Pro-abortion government and business have been pushing for paid leave and travel benefits for abortion but failing to offer adequate support for mothers who choose life. As Students for Life of America previously noted, paid abortion leave is about businesses improving their bottom-line and not about what is best for families.
Policies that require a minimum parental leave can encourage a culture that is more supportive of parents generally. Parents do not want to be paid to kill their children; they want to be supported in having them.
3. Child Support Beginning in Pregnancy
People might be surprised to learn that 63% of parents support enforcing child support during pregnancy. In addition, parents want to see more policies that strengthen the bonds between parents and children.
A child’s needs begin before birth. Prenatal care is crucial for early intervention and supportive care. Pregnancy itself is also not easy, and some mothers can face complications that interrupt their regular employment. While the mother cares for the child before birth, fathers are off-the-hook unless there is a culture of support for expecting mothers.
Sadly, one of the top reasons consistently cited as the reason for abortion is economic circumstances. Someone choosing to end a child’s life in abortion because it appears impossible to afford a child is not making a free choice. We know that coerced abortion can have negative effects on a mother’s health and wellbeing following an abortion. Addressing the financial needs of pregnant moms is a powerful way to combat coerced abortion.
“To be politically successful,” said report author and EPPC fellow Patrick T. Brown, “a pro-family agenda must prioritize parents’ values as well as their pocketbooks.”
Whether or not government enacts policies that support pregnant moms and families, pro-lifers have made it clear that they will step up. Initiatives like StandingWithYou are designed to meet moms where they are. Whether or not they have the financial, emotional, and social support to choose life, StandingWithYou means that she is not alone.
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