By Marco Rubio
2023 is the first year in a new era for American families. The pro-abortion legal regime that our country suffered under for decades is gone. The question now is what will take its place? What kind of country will post-Roe America be? Conservative lawmakers have a duty to answer that question with pro-family policies that protect the unborn, support the struggling, and encourage the men and women working hard to raise our future generations.
First things first — the Republican Party must place American families at the center of its policy agenda. I’m starting off the 118th Congress by reintroducing the Providing for Life Act to do just that. It is a comprehensive pro-life, pro-family plan for post-Roe America, which would expand the Child Tax Credit; strengthen existing federal programs like Child Support Enforcement and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and lend greater aid to institutions of civil society that already care for families in their local communities, such as pregnancy resource centers.
There are other proposals on the table, too, like my plan to let parents advance their own Social Security benefits to pay for leave during that crucial time when welcoming a new baby to the family. I also have a bill to establish a national motherhood mentoring initiative, something that women across America would benefit from. If this seems like a lot, that’s a good thing. Never in my lifetime has it been harder to be a mom or a dad. Laws in our country should work to chart a new course and help parents balance child-rearing, work, and other priorities throughout day-to-day life.
In that vein, we must also have compassion for women with unplanned pregnancies. The fears and difficulties they face are very real, and we must ensure women in crisis are aware that they always have options other than abortion. That is why I am pushing to protect the Title IX rights of pregnant college students and establish a federal clearinghouse of non-abortive resources for young mothers.
Finally, our work is far from finished when it comes to the issue of abortion. Dobbs v. Jackson was the beginning, not the conclusion, of our decades-long struggle to protect the most fundamental human right. If we deny it to our most vulnerable — unborn children — we undermine the rights of all our citizens. Policymakers have a duty to prevent that from happening by establishing common-sense abortion restrictions wherever they are possible.
This is not what the elite political consultants want to hear. They, along with some politicians in my own party, are encouraging lawmakers to run away from the issue. But unborn babies cannot run away from the abortionist. They have no voice of their own to protest the violation of their right to life, so we must be their voice.
In the end, the cause of life will only triumph if conservative policymakers stand by their principles. For some, it might be tempting to avoid controversial “culture war” issues and the topic of abortion altogether, or to sit back and revel in the victory of Dobbs without giving passion and attention to the serious challenges faced by low-income parents and children. They should remember that it is their sacred duty to defend the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of all Americans — from babies in the womb to new moms and everyone in between. That is not a duty to be abandoned lightly.