The new bill aims to increase men's responsibility "in the bringing of life into the world."
The state of Utah recently passed a new bill requiring biological fathers to pay half of the cost of pregnancy and childbirth. Signed into law by Governor Spencer Cox, HB113 also means fathers will not be required to pay for abortion if they did not consent to it – unless the pregnancy was the result of rape or the mother’s life is in danger.
The “pro-life” bill sponsored by Republicans Rep. Brady Brammer and Sen. Daniel McCay aims to emphasize responsibility “for men in the bringing of life into the world” and to support mothers in their pregnancies.
Under the new law, a biological father would be required to pay 50% of the medical bills once paternity is established.
The bill was passed unanimously in the senate although it faced opposition from Democrats in the House as officials discussed the issue regarding expectant mothers trapped in abusive relationships.
Meanwhile, Rep, Suzanne Harrison supported the bill but likewise added that some men may use it to influence their partner’s decision in getting an abortion or even the method of birth.
Case in point, a C-section procedure may cost around $50,000 while a vaginal delivery can be about $30,000.
As Harrison explained:
“If we’re creating a new requirement that no other state has that a biological father be financially responsible for half the costs of health care for a woman during pregnancy, I’m worried that some men may respond to this financial obligation in a way that benefits them financially. These kinds of financial obligations are powerful, and I’m very concerned about unintended consequences.”
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