Right to (a Good) Life?!

By Shlomo Maital   

  A heartbreaking piece of news earlier this year:  “For millions of children, January has been the cruelest month, thrusting them back into poverty and leaving their families uncertain about how they will keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table.   The temporary expansion of the child tax credit expired Dec. 15 and is expected to increase childhood poverty from 12 percent to 17 percent in January, the highest since December 2020, according to research by the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University. Black and Latino children will be hit harder, with poverty rising to 1 in 4 kids”.  (NBC News).

    I have a question for the right-to-life supporters, many deeply religious Christians,  who claim that a fetus is a life, at any age in the womb.  Your beloved Republican representatives, and senators, prevented the Child Tax Credit, enacted by the Biden Administration, which at a swoop cut child poverty in half !!, from being renewed.

      Let me understand.  You believe the fetus, every fetus, no matter how created, now matter what the mother’s desire or need is,  has a right to life.  OK.  Now – does that fetus have the right to a good life?  A proper life?  To education, food, healthcare?    When it becomes a viable child?

       If so – how come your political party has blocked the single measure that has hugely improved children’s lives?  Why?  How do you justify it? How do you support it?

        How in the world can intelligent, moral, value-driven people support that destruction of a single measure, CTC, that had such a powerful and tragically short-lived impact on the lives of children?  Including new-borns.

        Want to find consistency and logic among Right to Life?  You will need an electron microscope. [1]

[1] The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) of 2021 significantly expanded the child tax credit for one year, allowing qualifying families to offset $3,000 per child up to age 17 and $3,600 per child under age 6. It also made the credit fully-refundable and offered the option of receiving half of the credit as six monthly payments. 39 million households, covering 88% of children in the United States, began receiving these payments automatically beginning July 15, 2021.  The child tax credit has a significant effect on child poverty. In 2016, it was estimated to have lifted about 3 million children out of poverty. In 2021, a Columbia University study estimated that the expansion of the CTC in the American Rescue Plan Act reduced child poverty by an additional 26%, and would have decreased child poverty by 40% had all eligible households claimed the credit.