Lankford, Others, Seek Child Support During Pregnancy
Enid News & Eagle - July 14, 2022 11:19 am
WASHINGTON (Enid News & Eagle) — U.S. Sen. James Lankford is among a group of senators who have introduced the Unborn Child Support Act, which would give expectant mothers the option to receive child support payments from the moment of their child’s conception.
Lankford, R-Okla., joined Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., in introducing the measure.
“Now that decisions regarding how to protect life were returned to the people’s elected representatives through the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Oklahoma and other states have rightly stood for life and made all elective abortions illegal while also taking steps to support pregnant moms and families,” Lankford said. “Dads need to step up and provide for their kids. Period. Our bill helps moms in every state have access to child support throughout the entirety of their children’s lives, not just after they are born.”
The bill would amend Part D of Title IV of the Social Security Act to ensure that child support for unborn children is collected and distributed under the child support enforcement program. The bill would provide that states will establish and enforce child support obligations of the biological father of an unborn child (and subsequent to the birth of the child) to the mother of such child.
Joining Lankford, Cramer, and Johnson are Sens. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Rick Scott, R-Fla.; Roger Marshall, R-Kan.; Roger Wicker, R-Miss.; and Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
“I am proud to join Sen. Cramer in introducing the Unborn Child Support Act and standing true to what being pro-life means: protecting life beginning at conception,” Inhofe said. “Mothers should have the option to receive court-ordered child support well before the time of birth and this bill is a first step towards getting them and their unborn children the support they deserve.”
A recent poll from the Bucknell Institute for Public Policy shows support for child support payments to begin at conception, according to a news release issued by Lankford’s office.
The Unborn Child Support Act allows a court, in consultation with moms, to award child support payments retroactively from the point of conception as determined by a doctor. It also provides flexibility for moms who do not want involvement of the father by not requiring moms to receive child support. The bill requires judges to consult with moms on payment plans and gives moms discretion as to whether or not child support payments will be awarded retroactively. The bill mandates that all paternity tests be at the discretion of the mom and not be conducted if the test would put the child at risk.
The bill is supported by the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, March for Life, Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.