A new bill signed into law in Utah will require all biological fathers to pay for 50% of pregnancy and childbirth costs. The bill, known as HB113, was introduced to increase the impetus on men to take responsibility for “bringing of life into the world.” However, it also means that should a woman choose not to continue with a pregnancy, the father will not have to pay for it unless the woman’s life is in danger or the pregnancy was the result of rape, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
It’s said to be a pro-life measure. Utah governor Spencer Cox signed the bill into law on March 23 with the understanding that it would act as a “pro-life” measure aimed at encouraging women to continue with pregnancies by forcing the biological fathers to contribute financially. It’s being presented as a means of supporting mothers more as well, since raising children is incredibly expensive and very difficult to do with a partner, let alone on your own.
DNA tests will be required. While the bill does require all biological fathers to pay 50% of pregnancy and birth costs, men can easily contest being the father, at which point a DNA test would be required to prove he actually is. This process can be quite lengthy and may prove difficult given that no payment would be due until testing is completed and results are verified.
Democrats opposed the bill. HB113 was introduced by Republican representative Brady Brammer and senator Daniel McCay and was passed unanimously in the Senate. However, House Democrats did have a problem with the bill, particularly as it pertains to women in abusive relationships as it may keep them from being able to get away. However, they were assured that situations like this would be handled in the same way as child support, through an intermediary without any contact between the man and woman being necessary.
Will this actually work? Many argue that while this is generally a good move as many women choose not to have children because it’s financially impossible, it can also be seen as a manipulative move meant to pressure women into having children they don’t really want by offering them money to do so.
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