A new law in Utah requiring fathers to pay half of the mother’s pregnancy costs has earned praise. The legislation was sponsored by State Rep. Brady Brammer, R-Highland who said the law will reduce abortion.
The new law signed on March 16, is an amendment to the Utah’s Child Support Act, and requires biological fathers to cater for half of the mother’s insurance premiums during pregnancy, besides other medical expenses.
The law exempts biological fathers from paying for an abortion performed without their consent except in cases where the life of the mother is in danger.
“Everybody has seen the legal landscape, there’s a lot of legislation that is leading to litigation that will eventually arrive at the Supreme Court and everything is in limbo,” he said. “In the meantime, we know that there are people arriving at a decision point related to abortion because their situation is extremely difficult and typically if someone who is without means or is just in a very vulnerable situation, the idea of bringing a child into the world is very scary and rightfully so,” Mr Brammer told the Register.
Brammer said he hoped other States will follow suit and pass the law. Concerns that the bill will negatively impact on women in abusive relationships have been addressed.
“The woman is not required to seek this if she doesn’t want to, it’s something that’s within her control to seek,” he said,
Chairwoman of the Abortion Free Utah coalition told the Register that it’s her hope that many women will now be “willing to give birth to their babies.”
“A high percentage of women seek abortion under pressure from boyfriends, husbands, family members, etc. and so we’re hoping that this will help them to feel some hope that they can handle the expenses and be able to give birth to their child,” she said.
She said she was aware of the objections raised by pro-abortion groups.
President of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah told the New York Times that they “feel there are better ways to support pregnant people and families.”
A Planned Parenthood Association spokeswoman told The Washington Post that she doubts if the new law will help reduce cases of abortion.
Director of the Diocese of Salt Lake City’s Office of Life, Justice and Peace, Jean Hill, told Catholic News Agency the law provides support for women who want to keep their babies but fear the costs.
Katie Glenn of Americans United for Life said the new law recognizes the fact that it takes two individuals to make a baby and that both should take care of the child.