Anti-Abortion Extremists Are Diverting Tax Dollars to Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Anti-abortion politicians are siphoning public dollars meant for low-income mothers and their children to fund anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) that coerce poor women and teens seeking an abortion to give birth, further condemning them to long-term economic hardship. Being denied a wanted abortion is a proven predictor of maternal and child poverty.

As the Biden administration advances a proposal to prohibit CPCs from future access to these federal funds, the anti-abortion movement is pushing back in force, claiming CPCs save taxpayer dollars and provide vital healthcare and safety net services to poor families. A first-time analysis of the CPC industry’s own reporting wholly contradicts these claims.

For Families That Need the Most Help, Childcare Costs Are About to Drop

At the end of February, President Joe Biden’s administration announced it was going to require every state to cap its co-payments so that families that receive subsidies pay no more than 7 percent of their income towards childcare. 

This important move addresses the acute need among the lowest-income families, most of whom are families of color. With the change, more than 100,000 families are expected to save about $200 a month on average, according to the White House. The change could also encourage more providers to participate in the subsidy program because they know they’ll be paid consistently for serving low-income students in the same way they are for other children. The new rule is effective April 30. Some states will be able to make the changes quickly; others will need approval from their legislatures. All will need to be in compliance by 2026. 

Which Political Party Is Budgeting for Women’s Futures?

For too many—especially women of color—paychecks aren’t keeping up. Inflation is inching downward, but costs for groceries, childcare and rent feel out of reach.

But congressional fights over taxes and spending are really about fundamental questions: What do women, our families and communities need? What kind of future do we want to build? Recent budget proposals by the Biden administration and Republicans in Congress show how our two major political parties answer those questions. The answers were starkly different, revealing high stakes when it comes to women’s ability to participate in the economy, care for their families and control their own reproductive lives. 

The Childcare Cliff Is Upon Us, and Congress Must Take Action

Since Congress failed to extend the childcare stabilization funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in September 2023, the supply of childcare has fallen off a cliff in many places across the United States, and its effects on families and the early childhood education (ECE) workforce are being felt more than ever. 

If you haven’t already done so, it is time to sit up and pay attention. As childcare programs increase fees to make up for budget shortfalls, the annual cost of care has risen to over $30,000 for 20 percent of families in the U.S., with another 50 percent paying approximately $20,000 annually. These costs often exceed the cost of college tuition. 

Research has long shown the cognitive and social emotional benefits of early learning, and an overwhelming majority of Americans feel that childcare is a good use of their taxpayer dollars. Congress’ disconnect on this issue remains unconscionable.

The Best and Worst States for Family Care Policies

In 2021, the Century Foundation published its first care policy report card, “Care Matters,” which graded each state on a number of supportive family policies and worker rights and protections, such as paid sick and paid family leave, pregnant worker fairness, and the domestic worker bill of rights. The 2021 report card revealed the tremendous gaps in state care policies and a fragmented and insufficient system of care workers and families in most states.

This year’s update, co-authored with Caring Across Generations, takes another look at how states are doing.

Women and Caregivers Face Too Many Barriers Running for Office—Here’s How the ‘Help America Run’ Act Can Help

Parents, especially parents of young children, must bring children on the campaign trail—with all the difficulties that entails—or rely on vanishing childcare slots.

Currently, federal law permits candidates to use campaign funds for a limited number of personal expenses—such as childcare—incurred only because they are campaigning with each state having their own restrictions, too. The Help America Run Act formalizes and guarantees to help level the playing field for federal candidates. Without this standard, working parents, caregivers and the candidates from marginalized communities face barriers to campaigning resulting in a Congress that does not look like the United States.

They Never Deserved to Be Called ‘Pro-Life’

Less than three weeks after Alabama’s State Supreme Court unleashed massive chaos and hardship by ruling that frozen embryos created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) must be considered children, the state legislature passed a bill providing immunity to clinics that provide IVF and people who access that care. Alabama’s stridently anti-abortion governor hastily signed the legislation into law. Are we supposed to be grateful?

Protecting and supporting families is not the focus of the Republican Party. They prove that every day by opposing food and nutrition assistance, childcare subsidies, paid family leave, Medicaid expansion and other programs that help families be healthy and thrive.