The State of Utah has a new law requiring biological fathers to pay half of the out-of-pocket expenses during the timeframe a woman is pregnant.
Utah passed this law as an effort to lessen the burdens of pregnancy for women, while increasing the responsibilities for men who are expecting children. While there are many people for the new law that has passed, there are a number of people who disagrees with this law.
Critics are saying this law may not directly help women who are most vulnerable, as well as increasing the threat for women who are in abusive relationships while being pregnant.
“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,” Republican Rep. Brady Brammer released in a statement.
Brammer also added that the new bill would apply to “pregnant women’s health insurance premiums and any pregnancy-related medical costs.”
Liesa Stockdale, who is the director of the state’s Office of Recovery Services, states that in Utah pregnant women already have the option to apply for financial help related to birth expenses through the courts, however, not that many women take advantage of those opportunities. Now women can request pregnancy-related payments, at this time it is unclear how many would take that action.
“I do not know how often it will be used. That is yet to be seen how often parents will choose to pursue these costs. But certainly, if they do, we are her to collect,” Stockdale added.
If the paternity of the child is unclear, the fathers would not have to pay until the paternity of the child is found out.
Merrilee Boyack, who is the chairman of the Abortion-Free Utah coalition released in a statement, “Anything we can do to support women in these circumstances will help them be able to give birth to their babies, feel good about that choice, and feel supported along the way.”
This new law has no intentions for the number of abortions to decrease, however there are hopes that this new law will lead to that.