Utah has passed a bill that means biological fathers will have to pay for half the upfront costs for pregnancy and childbirth.

By Sara Tabin

The bill also means that biological fathers will not have to pay for abortions they did not consent to, unless the mother’s life is in danger, or the pregnancy occurred as a result of rape.

Named HB113, the bill is designed to increase responsibility ‘for men in the bringing of life into the world’.

(Teresa Crawford | AP file photo) In this 2018 photo, a doctor performs an ultrasound scan on a pregnant woman at a hospital in Chicago. Under a Utah bill signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Spencer Cox, biological fathers will have to pay for half of the out-of-pocket costs of pregnancy and childbirth.

The new law, which was signed in by governor Spencer Cox on Tuesday March 23, was introduced as being ‘pro-life’ in a bid to support mothers and encourage them to continue with their pregnancies, by giving them financial support, as per the Salt Lake Tribune.

In situations where it’s unclear whether a man is the biological father, the father will not have to pay any money towards the pregnancy and the birth until it is proven they are the biological parent. Once established, they would be required to pay 50% of the bills.

Credit: Pexels

The bill was sponsored by Republican representative Brady Brammer and senator Daniel McCay, and was passed unanimously in a Senate. However, it was opposed by Democrats in the House, with politicians on both sides raising concerns about expectant mothers in abusive relationships.

One of those concerned was Democrat senator Luz Escamilla, who asked for clarification on payments from abusive partners.

She later voted in favor of passing the bill, saying she was confident it would ‘not open any doors for anything that could put a survivor of domestic violence in any fear’.

To protect vulnerable mothers and keep them from having to contact potentially abusive partners, child support will be collected by the Office of Recovery Services.

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