The GOP’s forced-birth laws create an unfunded mandate on pregnant people and their families.

The same GOP legislators, whose Hyde Amendment removed abortion funding from low-income people, who balked at funding school lunches, or providing more inspectors to ensure safe baby formula and funding for low-income women during a horrific formula shortage, are now upset that we are laying the cruel and forseeable consequences of their states’ post-Roe legislation – pregnant children, forced stillbirths, and medical bankruptcies – at their feet. Abortion restrictions in their states have already cost the U.S. more than $100 billion, even before the SCOTUS decision, and Kaiser estimates that taxpayers will be subsidizing forced births in Red states through Medicaid to about 1.3 billion dollars a year.

So now we’re going to lay on the GOP the direct financial burden their religious-extremist forced-birth and anti-already-born policies will impose on average people.

Write to your legislators!

Sample email for legislator: I’m very concerned that the GOP has created a huge unfunded mandate on Americans and their families with their forced birth laws and are not stepping up to take responsibility for the damage they will cause. Here are three issues that need to be addressed by Sen./Rep. [___] now.

PREGNANCY COSTS: ($16k) Unless they qualify for Medicaid, people who would have had an inexpensive abortion in case of unintended pregnancy, will be forced to pay for maternity care in the most expensive nation to give birth and may face bankruptcy, even with insurance. The GOP pretends to acknowledge these costs without mentioning the pregnant person involved with H.R.8362/S.4512 – Unborn Child Support Act, a deceptive trojan horse whose purpose is to slip “fetal personhood” into federal law, in direct contradiction of the 14th Amendment. But since the GOP considers ALL fetal matter sacred, each pregnancy should be treated equally, independent of whatever cash can be shaken from the pockets of men the bill promises to track down, at a taxpayer expense it neglects to mention.

To achieve fetal equality, the GOP should be backing H.R.1976/S.4204 – Medicare for All. This cost-effective bill would cover ALL pregnancy-related medical costs, giving ALL fetuses a chance to be born healthy and ready for their “already-born” needs to be ignored. Sen./Rep. [___] should also push though H.R.959/S.346 – Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, to protect those most threatened by forced-birth laws.

PARENTAL LEAVE COSTS: ($5-6K lost income/3mo.) GOP Sen. Rubio realized that forced-birth laws will create a need for parental leave for non-governmental companies with fewer than 50 employees. So he introduced the fiscally ludicrous S.2764 – New Parents Act, which would force parents to relinquish their future Social Security benefits in exchange for the 3 months of partially paid leave. I want Sen./Rep. [___] to back a real bill, like H.R.804/S.248 – FAMILY Act, which would grant 12 weeks of partial income for birth or placement of a child without destabilizing an earned benefit.

CHILD CARE COSTS: (<$6k – <$22K/yr.)The reconciliation package currently does not include any investments in child care, as the GOP doesn’t care about already-born kids. If this deficit isn’t addressed, an already broken system is heading towards a massive funding cliff with devastating consequences. I want Sen./Rep. [___] to push through H.R.2817/S.1360 – Child Care for Working Families Act, or H.R.1911 – Child Care is Infrastructure Act, {For senators only} …and I urge the senator to do everything in their power to ensure child care investments are included in a final reconciliation package.


  • Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email, DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
  • or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24): email. DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
  • Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
  • and Senator Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
  • Who is my representative/senator?:

Deeper Dive

What we know about being able to access abortion as normal health care: First, researcher Caitlin Myers, an economist at Middlebury College, discovered that legalizing abortion dramatically reduced the number of women and girls who gave birth — and got married — as teenagers. Access to abortion also offered a major boost to women’s economic prospects, “allowing them, in turn, to obtain more education, to enter more professional careers, to avoid poverty,” Myers says. “And also providing those same economic advantages to the children that they parented later.”

“There’s a huge empirical literature showing that there are detrimental effects on these kids’ outcomes,” he says. “When they grow up, they’re less likely to attain higher education themselves, they’re more likely to be involved in crime, have lower adult earnings.”

Research into abortion’s economic fallout continues. The landmark Turnaway Study followed women for a decade and found that those denied an abortion were four times as likely to be living in poverty years later.

PREGNANCY COSTS “1 in 3 Americans say they wouldn’t be able to cover an unexpected $400 medical bill without borrowing money or selling their belongings, much less an unexpected $4,500 medical bill.” “The cost of childbirth in the United States is significantly higher than in any other country in the world. Depending on where you live, average medical bills, with insurance, can range from about $4,500 to $11,200 for a vaginal delivery; for C-sections, it’s $5,100 to $15,000. (Without insurance, costs can be much higher.) To make matters more infuriating, many parents won’t know how much their delivery will cost until they get the bill afterward.

(abc) “I know that financial costs sometimes lead my patients to delay or defer recommended services,” she said.

In the case of maternity care, deferred or delayed treatment can increase the risk of poor birth outcomes, at a time when the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. More than half of the 700 deaths that occur each year, which disproportionately affect women of color, are preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As a “solution” to the first part of the problem they themselves created, the GOP offers the dangerous “Unborn Child Support Act,” “to ensure that child support for unborn children is collected and distributed under the child support enforcement program.” The main point of this is not to help pregnant people but an end-run around the 14th amendment, where rights begin at birth. It seeks to backdoor “fetal personhood,” a religious concept allowing the government to “legally control the reproductive process of others and subjugate those capable of pregnancy” into law. The bill’s very name continues the erasure and dehumanization of pregnant people, while tying them to impregnators who may be incestuous relatives, rapists, violent abusers and/or indigent.

PARENTAL LEAVE: Read this article on what other countries somehow manage to do…

What we do…

Governmental agencies and companies with more than 50 employees are currently covered under federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This program requires eligible employers to provide certain workers unpaid family leave; however, unlike nearly all other industrialized nations, the U.S. does not have national standards on paid family or sick leave, despite strong public support…Some efforts at the federal level have begun to gain momentum, including a provision of the 2020 Build Back Better Act that would create a national paid family and medical leave program. Additionally, the Healthy Families Act, which was introduced in 2019, which would require most U.S. employers to offer workers paid sick leave, though efforts to bring it to a vote have since stalled. Many states and localities have passed laws to expand access to paid leave to workers in their states. Employees not covered by these local laws must rely on voluntary employer policies, which can vary considerably in scope and compensation…

BLS data found that less than one in four (23%) workers have access to paid family leave in 2021. Data on the share of workers with access to paid medical leave for a longer, serious illness are limited, but BLS also estimates that 40% of workers have access to short-term disability insurance.​

Proponents of a national paid family and medical program leave urge that it would provide employees with greater financial security when they must take an extended leave for medical reasons or to care for an ailing family member or new child. Research indicates that access to paid family and medical leave is associated with improved physical and mental health for new parents, decreased infant mortalityfinancial security for caregivers in the short- and long-term, and improved connections to the workforce, particularly for women, who are more likely than men to be caregivers for children and older adults.

Senator Rubio’s S. 2764, the New Parents Act of 2021 as written, which would force parents to relinquish their future Social Security benefits in exchange for paid parental leave. His proposal would would undercut Social Security’s benefits and structure, weakening the retirement security it offers workers.

This country desperately needs paid leave, not just for new babies, but when workers get sick or to care for family members who get sick,” says Kathleen Romig, an expert on Social Security and disability policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “This proposal is not that. It’s just making families borrow against themselves. Not only that, but it charges them for the privilege of borrowing their Social Security benefits with really substantial interest that accrues over decades.”

( Under the Rubio proposal, parents opting for parental leave would face permanent cuts to their Social Security retirement benefits that ultimately would far exceed their parental leave benefits. The cuts would amount to their parental leave benefits plus decades of interest, as well as an additional reduction to cover the cost of the parental benefits provided to other parents who die or become disabled before they reach retirement and can’t repay their own leave benefits.

For example, parents with moderate incomes would receive about $5,300 in benefits on average for each three months of parental leave they take — but would then lose about $15,100 in lifetime retirement benefits (measured in 2018 dollars) for those three months of leave, according to the Urban Institute.

All told, this amounts to losing about 3 to 4 percent of lifetime Social Security retirement benefits for each three months of leave. So parents who take three periods of parental leave (after three births or adoptions) would lose roughly one-tenth of their lifetime Social Security retirement benefits.

He and other promoters of this scheme have never explained why family leave should be tied to Social Security, which is chiefly a retirement program, in the first place. 


Our worst fears have been confirmed. “Right now, the Senate is finalizing negotiations on a reconciliation package that does not include ANY funding for child care. Lawmakers have been promising for months that a reconciliation package w ould include significant support for working families and kids but if we don’t act now, this package will be voted on without a penny for child care.  

Congress MUST follow through on their commitment to working families by including child care funding in any reconciliation package. Federal pandemic relief dollars saved the child care system from complete freefall but that relief funding is set to run out in 2024, and without immediate Congressional action to provide additional investments, an already broken system is heading towards a massive funding cliff with devastating consequences. 

It’s not over – yet. Don’t let lawmakers abandon their promise to include funding for child care in reconciliation. Contact your senator today and tell them that leaving child care on the chopping block is simply not an option.”


  • (NPR) Women who are denied abortions risk falling deeper into poverty. So do their kids
  • (Fortune) Abortion restrictions already cost the U.S. more than $100 billion. That number could now get much worse.
  • (Guttmacher Institute) The Hyde Amendment: A Discriminatory Ban on Insurance Coverage of Abortion
  • ( In multiple states, rapists can sue their victims for parental custody – Rape survivors say they need stronger laws restricting rapists’ parental rights to keep themselves and their families safe
  • ( 44 Percent of Custodial Parents Receive the Full Amount of Child Support
  • (Jezebel) Republicans Use ‘Child Support’ As Back-Door Scheme to Make Fetuses People – The Unborn Child Support Act would amend the Social Security Act to require child support payments within “the first month in which the child was conceived.”
  • (TheCut) ‘What I Learned About the Cost of Giving Birth’
  • (insider) Louisiana woman whose water broke at 16 weeks was forced into ‘painful, hours-long labor’ because of abortion ban, lawsuit says
  • (insider) North Carolina bill calling for death to abortion seekers is circulating online
  • (TIME) Fetal Personhood Laws Are a New Frontier in the Battle Over Reproductive Rights
  • (VOX) Rape and incest abortion exceptions don’t really exist
  • (KFF) Paid Leave in the U.S.
  • (Brennancenter) The Government Has a Long History of Controlling Women—One That Never Ended
  • (Huffpost) GOP No Longer Cares About The Deficit If It Means Women Having More Babies – More than 4 in 10 U.S. births are paid for by Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor — and fewer abortions will mean more births.
  • (LATimes) Column: With a noxious family leave proposal, GOP pretends it’s still pro-women despite antiabortion laws
  • (Buzzfeed) People Are Sharing What Parental Leave Looks Like Around The World, And I, As An American Woman, Feel Completely Stunned
  • ( Child Care Costs by State 2022
  • ( NEW REPORT: Pregnancy and Delivery Complications Cost the United States Billions in Health Care Expenses, Lost Productivity, and Social Support Services

Image by Robert Jones from Pixabay 

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