Americans United for Life and Democrats for Life of America are calling on Congress to make birth free to mothers.
Catherine Glenn Foster, President & CEO of Americans United for Life (AUL), and Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats for Life of America (DFLA), co-author the white paper “Make Birth Free: A Vision for Congress to Empower American Mothers, Families, and Communities.”
“The American family is threatened. Many feel as though they cannot afford to have a child, particularly when the costs of pregnancy, birth, and post-natal care are exorbitantly expensive,” the authors state in Make Birth Free. “The average cost of childbirth in the United States is nearly $19,000, and even privately insured mothers will likely pay more than $3,000 out-of-pocket simply for delivery. … Maternity care in the United States is uniquely expensive. Childbirth costs far less in other developed countries, where comprehensive maternity care is free or cheap for all.”
Catherine Glenn Foster and Kristen Day cite precedent for making birth free. Launched during the Nixon administration, a federal program through Medicare was established that covers the cost of dialysis and kidney transplants for all patients—even those who would not typically qualify for Medicare benefits. This program has worked successfully and cost-effectively for nearly 50 years and serves as a model for making birth free to mothers.
“In this post-Roe America, our political priorities must change to meet the changing reality confronting women in both pro-abortion states and anti-abortion states,” said Catherine Glenn Foster. “Americans United for Life has already outlined our vision for the constitutional abolition of abortion in our American Life Initiative, but we know that abolition remains likely at least a generation away. Today and in the days to come, Congress must act to enshrine bold law and policy that truly supports life-affirming choice for all American women. We believe that making birth free to mothers is both a bold and necessary policy priority for members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.”
“Roe’s reversal continues to send shockwaves through America,” said Kristen Day. “Advocacy for making birth free for mothers means that the pro-life movement is venturing into new law and policy territory, as we should, post-Dobbs. We must rise above partisanship and all come together on making birth free for mothers. We can uplift mothers, families, and communities through legislation to make birth free, even if we disagree on abortion politics.”