A new law in Utah will require fathers to pay for half of the mother’s cost of pregnancy, making Utah the first state to mandate prenatal child support from the father.
HB 113, sponsored by Rep. Brady Brammer, stipulates that the baby’s biological father must pay half of the mother’s insurance premiums while she is pregnant, as well as pregnancy-related medical costs, including the hospital birth of the child.
The father would only be required to pay those expenses after his paternity is confirmed, the law stipulates.
“We want to help people and actually be pro-life in how we do it as opposed to anti-abortion,” Brammer, the bill’s sponsor, told the AP.
“One of the ways to help with that was to help the burden of pregnancy be decreased.”
Under the law, if the mother obtains an abortion without the father’s consent, the father is not required to help pay for the abortion, unless the abortion was done to preserve the life of the mother or if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.
Gov. Spencer Cox signed the bill into law in February.
Jean Hill, director of the Archdiocese of Salt Lake City’s Office of Life, Justice and Peace, told CNA that the diocese supported the final version of the bill.
“In our view, the law is a positive pro-life measure to help women who want to keep their baby but feel overwhelmed by the costs,” Hill told CNA.
She said her office initially had concerns— which some lawmakers also had raised— that the law could unintentionally tie mothers financially to abusive partners.
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