Make Birth Free: A Vision for Congress to Empower American Mothers, Families, and Communities

We are in awe of America’s mothers. Every day, a mother gives her heart unreservedly to her family. She leads with love for her children and her family.

But the American family is threatened. We all feel it. Everyday costs are skyrocketing. Marriage, and especially family, increasingly seem like luxuries. 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 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.

Today, the American dream is out of reach for too many. Too many couples feel they cannot start or grow their families because of our disordered politics and warped economy. The existing model that erects barriers to family formation and imposes dizzying costs for childbirth is both unworkable and untenable.

Now is the time to make it obsolete. To change the future, we need a new model, a better paradigm.

Birth in the United States of America should be free.

America has faced similar challenges before and risen to the challenge. There is precedent for Make Birth Free, and it has worked effectively for almost 50 years. Launched during the Nixon administration, the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program covers the cost of dialysis and kidney transplants for patients of all ages, even those who would not typically qualify for Medicare benefits. There are other precedents, more recent and even more generous. A new approach, crafted with these precedents in mind, could Make Birth Free for every American mother.

Catherine Glenn Foster, President & CEO of Americans United for Life joins Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats for Life of America, to offer a vision for Congress to empower American mothers, families, and communities through a groundbreaking and perhaps even bipartisan plan to make birth free to American mothers.