Salt Lake City-Under a new law, biological fathers in Utah will be required to pay half of the women’s out-of-pocket pregnancy expenses under the law. Critics say the law is not sufficient to adequately address the needs of maternal health care.
The sponsors of the bill proposed this measure to reduce women’s burden of pregnancy and increase responsibilities to men with children. But some critics believe that the new legislation will not help the most vulnerable women and may make the abuse situation more dangerous for pregnant women.
According to the state’s Planned Parenthood Association and sponsors of the bill, Utah appears to be the first state to require prenatal child support. However, some state regulations, including Wisconsin and New York, may cause the father to financially bear the pre-delivery expenses.
Republican Governor Spencer Cox (Spencer Cox) recently signed the proposal, which has received widespread support in the Republican-controlled legislature.
Republican Rep. Brady Brammer (Brady Brammer) said he decided to sponsor the measure because he was frustrated with the number of anti-abortion measures taken by the legislature and wanted to implement legislation that would make life easier.
Brammer said: “We want to help people, in fact, we are living rather than opposing abortion lives.” “One of the ways to solve this problem is to reduce the burden of pregnancy.”
The bill will apply to pregnant women’s health insurance premiums and any pregnancy-related medical expenses, Brammer said.
If the child’s paternity is in dispute, the father will not need to pay until the father’s identity is confirmed. Unless it is necessary to prevent the mother’s death or pregnancy as a result of rape, the father will not be financially responsible for the cost of miscarriage without his consent.
Liesa Stockdale, director of the state’s Office of Recovery Services (Office of Recovery Services), said that in Utah, mothers can already choose to seek support related to childbirth costs through the courts, but rarely this way. This office usually collects child support. She said mothers can now choose to seek pregnancy-related payments through the legal system, but it is not clear how often they will do so.
Stockdale said: “I don’t know how often it will be used.” “It remains to be seen how often parents will choose to recover these expenses. But what is certain is that if they do, we will collect them here.”
The bill is not intended to reduce the frequency of abortions, but Brammer said this may be a potential result.
Anti-abortion activists praised the bill, saying it will protect the life of unborn children by supporting women to become pregnant. Merrilee Boyack, president of the Abortion-Free Utah League, said she hopes the bill will reduce the state’s abortion by reducing the financial pressure on new mothers.
“In this case, we can take all measures to support women, which will help them to have babies, be satisfied with this choice and get support along the way,” Boak said.
This new legislation is the first in a long list of restrictions imposed on abortion in Utah. Last year, the state approved a measure that would make abortion illegal if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns decades of legalization nationwide. Unless it involves rape, incest, and serious threats to the mother’s life, Utah’s measures will make it a felony.
This year, other Republican states have been considering a series of strict anti-abortion restrictions. A comprehensive abortion ban has been signed into law in South Carolina and Arkansas.
Democratic legislators and women’s rights activists question whether the new legislation on fathers’ help to pay will truly meet the needs of women.
Family Planning spokeswoman Katrina Barker said that she supports more financial support for women, but said there are better ways to help women, such as expanding Medicaid, obtaining contraceptives and providing Paid parental leave.
Buck also said that she does not believe that this legislation will result in fewer abortions for women, because the cost of pregnancy is usually small compared to the cost of raising a child.
Buck said: “According to the grand plan, having a child and raising them will be many more adults.”
According to the 2015 report of the United States Department of Agriculture, the average support cost for middle-income families is $233,610 (not including college fees). According to Family Planning, the cost of abortion ranges from free to up to $1,000, depending on the location and whether the mother has health insurance.
Gabriella Archuleta, a public policy analyst at YWCA Utah that provides services to survivors of public violence, said that the trend of domestic abuse during pregnancy is often escalating, and seeking these costs may further increase financial pressure on raising babies. According to data from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, approximately 324,000 pregnant women are abused in the United States each year.
Archuleta also pointed out that this measure does not fairly address the high costs of the navigation legal system and may only serve women who are wealthy or have a wealthy partner.
“On the surface, this sounds like a good idea,” Akuleta said. “But what we have to do is to look at some nuances and their impact on women, and I think these nuances have not really been explored to the extent they deserve.”