Home News Congress Needs to Expand Child Tax Credit to Help Families

Congress Needs to Expand Child Tax Credit to Help Families


Author: Lorrie McNickle, Executive Director, Pregnancy Center West

As the Executive Director of Pregnancy Center West, a crisis pregnancy center serving the westside of Cincinnati, I am honored and humbled to serve women and the unborn. Our goal at the center is to assist our clients with navigating all the challenges they face with an unplanned and, very frequently, crises pregnancy. Our services include free and confidential pregnancy testing and ultrasound scans, education on options and alternatives to abortion, and guidance on housing, prenatal healthcare, peer support, and financial assistance. We can connect women and families with the resources available to help them but that so many are unaware exist.
One of the biggest, if not the biggest challenge facing our clients, is financial uncertainty. Many times, this uncertainty causes such despair and fear that it leads our clients to choose abortion, and to end their pregnancies. Many of our clients would rather not make this choice and so it is something they don’t want to do, but a decision they feel necessary in the face of such difficult financial struggles. So, helping women connect with the community and services that can offer financial and material support and assistance is certainly a top priority. These services can reassure women that they do indeed have support and do have options regarding their pregnancy.
While I am confident that Ohio will end access to abortion in our state, I do not have the same confidence in other states, especially those surrounding us, that are so close and accessible. We would like to make sure that no woman feels forced into a decision to end a pregnancy because of fears she cannot afford a child. We are dedicated to connecting mothers with services that offer financial and material assistance to help with the care of children once born. Reassuring women they will have what they need is more critical in our Post Roe v. Wade America.
For the clients we serve, we find the most helpful resources are those that are easy to understand and access. Many well intentioned resources are very difficult to understand and too confusing or difficult to obtain, and this create barriers and obstacles to their effectiveness and purpose.
As someone who sees mothers and families facing financial struggles every day, I urge Congress to critically assess the effectiveness and ease of access to all federal programs aimed at provided such assistance. Please focus tax dollars on programs that are easy to access and understand.
One such resource assisting families, parents and guardians struggling to make ends meet is the Child Tax Credit. This credit provides additional income to those caring for children by reducing federal income taxes owed based on the number of children being supported. Some struggling parents and guardians can even receive funds from the Child Tax Credit even if they do not owe any federal income taxes.
This additional income supplies much needed assistance to those who care for children, enabling them to provide food, clothing, shelter and other necessities.
During the pandemic, the Child Tax Credit was expanded and simplified. Those eligible automatically received deposits into their bank accounts. This expansion and simplification are being rolled back to their pre-pandemic levels and operations. There is discussion however, among our leaders in Washington about expanding the Child Tax Credit.
I would like to urge members of Congress, including our Cincinnati representatives, to responsibly extend and expand the Child Tax Credit. This credit should be available to those in real need, including those who may not owe any federal income taxes. The credit should be provided to those most in need and should be simple and automatic, as it was during the pandemic. This expansion and simplification is critical and essential for helping to provide those we serve with the financial assistance they need.
If we are serious about women having choice, then we must make the playing field one in which women can truly make a choice without financial pressures and intimidation. Women must have the ability to choose life with the confidence they can meet the essential needs of their babies. This effort would go a very long way to making that a reality for so many women and families.