The whole experience of being a first-time parent can be overwhelming. There’s unmatched joy, of course, but there are also so many questions. How are we going to provide for this baby? What kind of crib do we get? Cloth or disposable? What if something goes wrong? Boy or girl? What kind of person will they become? What kind of parents will we be? Are we ready for this? From the moment Bryon and I found out we were pregnant, we were asking these questions, we were planning, we were praying, and we were dreaming of our kids’ futures.

This January, I introduced legislation that would allow parents to start investing in those dreams from the very beginning too. More specifically, my bill would let parents name their unborn children as beneficiaries of 529 accounts, which are tax-advantaged savings plans designed to help families save for future education costs. If enacted, this would mean unborn children would have a spot in our tax code, which they currently do not. It’s another step toward ensuring every child – born or yet-to-be-born – is given the dignity they deserve.

President Trump has been a good working partner in this goal. His appointment of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, for instance, was a critical win for the pro-life cause. President Trump also signed legislation I backed empowering states to defund Planned Parenthood and put his name on legislation that bans taxpayer-funded abortion, for the time being.

I’m working to push more legislation his way too. In October, the House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortion once a baby can feel pain (approximately 20 weeks). While I believe life begins at conception (and have backed legislation that would define life as such), I was pleased to get the House to move a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the Senate has yet to act on the legislation.

I also helped introduce the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which prohibits taxpayer-funded abortions as well as taxpayer-funded subsidies for healthcare plans covering elective abortions. A 2016 Government Accountability Office study showed abortions were paid for with federal dollars through Obamacare exchanges, which we had previously been told would not be the case. According to the Susan B. Anthony List, “Under Obamacare, as many as 111,500 additional abortions per year could be heavily subsidized by taxpayers.” That is unacceptable, and the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would fix it. While the House has passed it, the Senate has not taken it up at this point.

The House also passed legislation this January that requires healthcare professionals to provide care to babies who are born alive after a failed abortion attempt.

Additionally, I’ve cosponsored legislation that would prohibit gruesome dismemberment abortions. I’m also working to drive the Heartbeat Protection Act forward, which would protect unborn children whose heartbeats can be detected. And while it’s not as widely covered as abortion is, I’ve been very supportive of pro-life efforts to prohibit physician-assisted suicide.

These issues are important because they center around the foundation of a society – life. On January 19, I joined hundreds of thousands of people, including many South Dakotans, in marching for life. It was a powerful experience. Together, we marched for the unborn, for their future, and for their right to pursue their dreams.

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