New Utah Law Will Help Moms and Save More Babies From Abortion

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 6, 2021   |   11:16AM   |   Salt Lake City, Utah

A new Utah law aims to help mothers choose life for their unborn babies by requiring fathers to pay half of their pregnancy costs.

Believed to be the first of its kind in the United States, the law basically expands child support by requiring that it begin before birth instead of after, KRIS 6 News reports. It passed the Republican-majority legislature this spring, and Gov. Spencer Cox, a pro-life Republican, recently signed it into law.

“We want to help people and actually be pro-life in how we do it as opposed to anti-abortion,” said state Rep. Brady Brammer, R-Pleasant Grove, who sponsored the legislation. “One of the ways to help with that was to help the burden of pregnancy be decreased.”

The law applies to health insurance premiums and other pregnancy-related medical costs. Fathers would not be required to help pay for an abortion if they do not consent to it, according to the report. Paternity testing also may be done to confirm who the father is before he is required to pay.

Some lawmakers expressed concerns that the law would keep mothers and children connected to abusive men. But the legislation establishes the Office of Recovery Services, which already is involved with collecting child support, as an intermediary to prevent this, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

“… anyone who has left an abusive relationship doesn’t have to have ‘more interactions that you don’t have to.’ And a mother is not required under the bill to seek payment but is allowed to do so if she chooses,” the report states.

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Merrilee Boyack, chair of the Abortion Free Utah coalition, said the law will help mothers choose life for their unborn babies by taking some of the financial pressure off them, the AP reports.

“Anything we can do to support women in these circumstances will help them be able to give birth to their babies, feel good about that choice and feel supported along the way,” Boyack said.

But Planned Parenthood found a way to criticize the new law and push abortions.

Katrina Barker, president of the abortion chain’s Utah affiliate, essentially argued that women will keep getting abortions because they are cheaper than raising a child.

“In the grand scheme of things, having a child and raising them to adulthood is going to be a lot more money,” she told the AP.

“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,” Barker continued in a statement to NBC’s Today show.

The Today show also seemed to push this narrative when it compared the average cost of raising a child ($233,610) to the average cost of an abortion ($1,000).

The new law is one of many ways Utah lawmakers and pro-life advocates are working to protect unborn babies from abortion and support mothers in need. Last year, Utah passed a law to prohibit all abortions with limited exceptions for rape, incest, risks to the mother’s life and fatal fetal deformities. Abortionists who violate the law could be charged with a felony. However, the law is not in effect because of Roe v. Wade.

Almost 3,000 abortions are done in Utah every year.