There is a new law in Utah that will now require biological fathers to be financially responsible for paying half of the out-of-pocket costs during a woman’s pregnancy.
According to AP News, the passing of the bill is reportedly an effort to decrease the burdens of pregnancy for women, while increasing the responsibility for men who are expecting children. While some may take a liking to the new law, there are some critics who have proposed the argument that the new law would not be helpful to women who are most vulnerable. They also argued that it could make matters worse for pregnant women who may be in abusive relationships.
Utah’s Planned Parenthood Association and the bill’s sponsor notes that the state appears to be the first with prenatal child support authorization. However, states like New York and Wisconsin, have services that lead to fathers being financially responsible for pre-birth expenses.
Republican Rep. Brady Brammer said, “We want to help people and actually be pro-life in how we do it as opposed to anti-abortion. One of the ways to help with that was to help the burden of pregnancy be decreased.”
He continued to state that the new bill would apply to “pregnant women’s health insurance premiums and any pregnancy-related medical costs.”
A new Utah law requires biological fathers to pay half of a woman’s out-of-pocket pregnancy costs. The bill’s sponsor says it's an effort to decrease the burden of pregnancy on women. Critics argue it could make abusive situations even more dangerous. https://t.co/0h3uIm88Ey
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 5, 2021
Liesa Stockdale, director of the state’s Office of Recovery Services, notes that in the state of Utah women already have the option to request financial support related to birth expenses through the courts, however, few women take those actions. Now women can request pregnancy-related payments, but it’s unclear how many would take that action.
“I don’t know how often it will be used. That’s yet to be seen how often parents will choose to pursue these costs. But certainly, if they do, we’re here to collect,” said Stockdale.