Republican State Rep. Brady Brammer hopes that this may lead to a drop in the number of abortions in Utah as a result of prenatal child support.
According to a new bill, Biological fathers are now legally required to help pay for half the medical costs associated with pregnancy and delivery. However, the bill, signed by Republican Governor Spencer Cox last month, only applies to those whose paternity is verified, reported TODAY.
In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune, State Senator Dan McCay described the bill as an effort “to try and bring some equity to the funding of pregnancies.” But the new bill might not be just about helping moms. Republican State Representative Brady Brammer hopes that this may lead to a drop in the number of abortions in Utah as a result of prenatal child support. “We want to help people and actually be pro-life in how we do it, as opposed to anti-abortion. One of the ways to help with that was to help the burden of pregnancy be decreased," Brammer told the Associated Press, according to TODAY.
However, Planned Parenthood spokesperson Katrina Barker disagreed with this and said that she doesn’t believe the legislation will lead to fewer women terminating pregnancies.
“In the grand scheme of things, having a child and raising them to adulthood is going to be a lot more money,” Barker told the Associated Press, which also reported that the average cost of raising a child is $233,610. That figure still does not take into consideration the cost of college. The cost of an abortion is at most $1,000 if a woman does not have health insurance. Karrie Galloway, President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, said in a statement to TODAY, "While we appreciate that this bill highlights how expensive it is to be pregnant and that many women struggle to cover the costs of their health care, we feel there are better ways to support pregnant people and families,"
Galloway further said, "Expanded Medicaid, better insurance coverage, equitable access to reproductive health care, and paid family leave are just a few ways policymakers could do much more. People who become pregnant should be able to determine for themselves what is best for them without legislative interference, compromising their privacy, or bureaucratic hurdles." Gabriella Archuleta, a public policy analyst with YWCA Utah, told the AP that domestic abuse can get worse during pregnancy and “seeking these costs could further increase stressors about financially supporting a baby.” “On the surface of it, it looks like a good idea. But what we’re here to do is look at some of the nuances and how it impacts women," Achuleta said, according to TODAY.