Biological fathers must now pay half the cost of pregnancy, as well as childbirth, under a new Utah bill.
The legislation was passed last week after it was unanimously agreed by the state’s Senate, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.
It will require any dad-to-be ‘pay 50% of a mother’s insurance premiums while she is pregnant,’ plus ‘pregnancy-related medical costs, including the hospital birth of the child’.
Senator Daniel McCay says the ruling seeks to be ‘pro-life without being anti-abortion’. Plus, it will ‘limit the financial burden for brave single mums to choose life’.
Under the law, women will be able to file a claim through the state’s court.
The father won’t be required to make any payments until it’s proven they’re the biological dad. After it’s confirmed, they’ll be expected to pay 50%.
Republican representative Brady Brammer has been promoting the bill. But some Democrats argue it could end up detrimental to some mothers, especially for those trying to escape abusive partners.
State Rep. Brian King says he doesn’t want to see women put in a situation where they are relying on an individual who may have caused them harm.
He said: “I worry that we’re tying … a woman who is pregnant to an abusive partner or a partner who is engaging in domestic abuse in other ways.
“The last thing we want to do is tie these two individuals together.”
However, it has been reassured that it will work similarly to child support, with the Office of Recovery collecting the claim.
Democrat Luz Escamilla voted in favour of the bill. She says she’s confident it won’t ‘open any doors for anything that could put a survivor of domestic violence in any fear’.
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