Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed legislation into law on Monday legally requiring biological fathers to help with paying medical costs in the pregnancy if the biological mother requests it.
The legislation, House Bill 113, has been backed by Utah Republicans, Rep. Brady Brammer and Sen. Dan McCay. It received widespread support in the GOP-controlled chamber.
Fathers are required in accordance with the new law to pay 50 percent of a mother’s insurance premiums and other pregnancy-related medical costs—including the hospital birth of the child—that isn’t paid by another person.
According to the bill, it will only apply to fathers whose paternity can be confirmed.
If an abortion is performed without the consent of the father, he won’t be financially responsible unless the termination of the pregnancy was necessary to prevent the death of the mother or if the pregnancy was the result of rape.
In March last year, former Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed House Bill 136 into law which would ban abortion in the state after 18 weeks gestation, with some exceptions.
The exceptions to the 18-week ban are in the case that doctors determine a fetus is not viable, that giving birth to the child would put a mother at serious risk, and in the case of rape and incest.
Brammer, who sponsored House-Bill 113, said he had grown frustrated with the number of merely “anti-abortion” measures going through the Legislature and wanted to pursue legislation that would make it easier to bring life into the world.
“We want to help people and actually be pro-life in how we do it as opposed to anti-abortion,” Brammer said. “One of the ways to help with that was to help the burden of pregnancy be decreased.”
According to Utah’s Planned Parenthood Association and sponsors of the bill, the state appears to be the first in mandating prenatal child support.
The move has been applauded by pro-life activists, saying it will protect the lives of unborn children by supporting women through their pregnancy.
Abortion activists and Democratic lawmakers have questioned the new law on whether it will actually help to cover costs and if it will actually meet women’s needs.
“In the grand scheme of things, having a child and raising them to adulthood is going to be a lot more money,” Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Katrina Barker said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From NTD News