By Daniel Payne/Catholic News Agency
A newly-proposed bill in Congress would extend the child tax credit to cover unborn children, a move its sponsor says represents a “comprehensive pro-life agenda” amid the ongoing debate over abortion in the United States.
The Providing for Life Act would significantly increase the federal child tax credit and would “expan[d] the CTC to provide support for unborn babies during pregnancy,” Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson said in a press release on Monday.
The measure would increase the tax credit “up to $3,500 for under the age of 18 and $4,500 per child under the age of 6.” The current child tax credit stands at a flat $2,000.
The language of the bill specifically states that a “qualifying child” under the rule “includes an unborn child of an eligible taxpayer,” with the tax credit to apply retroactively upon the child’s birth.
The measure “charts the policy course for a culture of life in America,” Hinson said in the release.
“By expanding the Child Tax Credit to include the unborn and provide additional relief to working families, empowering women to care for their babies and families regardless of socioeconomic status or zip code, and expanding access to community resources, we can protect the most vulnerable, make a meaningful difference for those in need, and strengthen all families,” she said.
Similar legislation has been taken up in the Senate by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. The senator in the release argued that “supporting pregnant mothers and their unborn children is essential” both because “it’s the right thing to do” and because “America’s continued strength depends on the next generation.”
“This comprehensive legislation will provide real assistance for American parents and children in need,” Rubio said. “We need policies like these to show America that conservatives are pro-life across the board.”
The bill also contains provisions that Hinson’s office said help “buil[d] community support for mothers and new families.”
The legislation would “fun[d] local demonstration programs providing volunteer mentoring and peer support services for low-income, vulnerable mothers” and would help expand “vital protections for faith-based organizations providing federally funded social services.”