To the editor: I am writing to urge all Americans and members of Congress to support continuation of the expanded, fully refundable child tax credit and to resume monthly payments of the credit.

Sometimes called the “child allowance,” it is an effective tool for reducing child poverty.

States banning abortion claim they will provide more support for women who are forced to have more children, yet they have not supported reinstatement of the fully refundable child tax credit for all low-income families. Both research and common sense tell us that people need money in order to work — to fix their car, pay for phone service or buy a month’s supply of diapers for the daycare center.

In 2021, the expanded child tax credit was a financial lifeline for children and families. Data shows that the expanded CTC reduced child poverty by almost half (41 percent). Recipients continued to work, lived healthier lives, invested more in their children's education and were less likely to use payday loans. Families spent their CTC payments on rent, food and clothes for their kids.

Then last December, 51 U.S. senators let the payments expire and 3.7 million children fell back into poverty within a month.

I commend our entire Massachusetts delegation (especially Rep. Richard Neal and Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren) for their strong support of the expanded CTC and I hope more members will choose to support lifting children out of poverty.

It seems clear that passing the expansion of the CTC and continuing the monthly credit payments would help millions of children. This is not only the right thing to do, but it should lead to a physically and mentally healthier society, from which we all benefit. As more and more women are forced to bear children they cannot afford to care for, the need for child tax credits and financial support will surely grow.

Linda Baxter, Great Barrington

The writer is a retired nurse-midwife and member of RESULTS-MA and Together Women Rise.