A pair of Illinois Republicans have co-sponsored a bill that would refuse to issue a birth certificate to any newborn child whose father is not listed. Hello and welcome to the year 1903!
Provides that if the unmarried mother cannot or refuses to name the child’s father, either a father must be conclusively established by DNA evidence or, within 30 days after birth, another family member who will financially provide for the child must be named, in court, on the birth certificate. Provides that absent DNA evidence or a family member’s name, a birth certificate will not be issued and the mother will be ineligible for financial aid from the State for support of the child. Provides an exception for artificially inseminated mothers. Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. Provides that a family that does not comply with the Vital Records Act provision concerning birth certificates of unmarried mothers shall be ineligible for aid for support of the child.
Salon points out that the legislation does not include an exemption for rape or incest.
Criticizing a bill, eventually killed, that would have provided government-assisted childcare to single, low-income working mothers, Ives’ choice in rhetoric helpfully grounds her empty logic down into the knee-jerk racial and socioeconomic intolerance that this position always represents:
“You better know who the ‘daddy’ is and whether or not he can afford that child and whether or not the taxpayers should be funding that or if there’s actual child support he can provide,” she said at the time.
It is unclear why a woman who has no support from her family or partner should be stripped of state assistance rather than given priority, or why her child should be declared legally non-existent. The only end this bill is meant to achieve, really, is the fiscal abandonment and ostracization of one of the nations most economically vulnerable groups, which is why it’s a very a good thing that there’s a Democratic supermajority in the Illinois House.