After Roe, are Republicans willing to expand the social safety net?

“Over the years, we have written on federal policies that we consider ‘pro-life’ that support pregnant women, not just policies that restrict abortion. This line of thinking is no longer a luxury of thought for pro-lifers like us. It is an obligation of pro-life advocacy in the future as we enter what will be a dynamic, uncertain, and uneven state landscape for years to come,” Republican operatives Mark Rodgers and Kiki Bradley wrote in the National Review last month, in an essay calling for the party to get behind policies like paid family leave and tax credits for families with children.

“A number of leaders understand that our expressions of concern for life would ring hollow without our movement’s advocacy of a support system for pregnant women and their babies.”

Already, there are signs of some Republican lawmakers moving to address these concerns. Republicans senators have proposed two bills expanding aspects of the government social safety net, and lawmakers may end up considering them before the year is out and the new Congress convenes in 2023.

“There’s certainly, I think, at least at the intellectual level, a recognition that we need to be approaching these issues in a fresh way,” said Brad Wilcox, a University of Virginia professor affiliated with the Institute for Family Studies and the American Enterprise Institute, both right-leaning thinktanks.