Utah recently passed a bill that will require biological fathers in Utah to pay for half of the out-of-pocket costs of pregnancy. Said differently, fathers must pay 50% of a mother’s insurance premiums while she is pregnant and pregnancy-related medical costs. These costs include the hospital birth of the child and all related expenses that are not paid by another person.
However, if a mother undergoes an abortion without the biological father’s consent, the biological is not liable to cover any related expenses. This is unless the abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother or if the mother was pregnant as a result of rape or incest.
The bill was put forward by Republican state Representative Brady Brammer and was signed by Governor Spencer Cox. Their efforts and the support of many state lawmakers has now made Utah the first state to mandate pre-birth support.
For many, this is a step in the right direction as fathers are now required by law to assume more financial responsibly. However, there are critics with arguably just reservations.
One such reservation is the belief that the bill will increase domestic violence. This claim is substantiated by data from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The data dictates that domestic violence is heightened around the point of pregnancy as added life-long responsibility and affordability become a reality. Critics believe the added liability will only serve to multiply these cases.
Brammer offered his reasoning for supporting the bill by saying “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.”
If Brammer’s rational is to be believed, then it is fair to say his intent is objectively pure. Should this become common law, one can only hope it has the intended effect.