A newly approved law in the state of Utah will now require biological fathers to pay 50% of all pregnancy-related medical expenses. State legislators hope that this law will relieve mothers of the financial burden associated with pregnancy. Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed the bill into law last month with the support of state lawmakers. State Rep. Brady Brammer sponsored the bill and he feels that this law will increase “the responsibility for men in the bringing of life into the world.”
“Oftentimes there’s this battle between pro-life and pro-choice where some of the pro-life positions really turn into a perception that it’s just anti-abortion,” Brammer told The Salt Lake Tribune.
“I kind of got sick of those things and I thought what could we do that’s really a pro-life thing? … and so that’s where this bill came from.”
In cases where the identity of the father is in question, the father will not be charged until paternity is confirmed. Fathers will also not be required to pay for abortions unless the procedure is needed to save the life of the mother or the child was conceived through rape or incest.
Detractors of the law have raised several concerns. First, some detractors feel that the law does not address mental health needs. Adding on, other detractors of the law feel that the law will only benefit mothers who have the means to work through the legal system and hold their partners accountable. Also, there are those that feel this law will financially tie mothers to abusive and manipulative partners.
“I worry that an unscrupulous and abusive male may say, ‘Hey, I have this duty. You can’t escape me. You may not want to collect it, but I need to be tied to you in a way that you don’t want because I have to discharge my duty,'” Utah Rep. Brian King told NPR.
The law is set to go into effect in early May.