Biological fathers will have to pay for half of the out-of-pocket costs of pregnancy and childbirth under a bill signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Spencer Cox.
HB113, which was sponsored by Rep. Brady Brammer and Sen. Daniel McCay, both Republicans, was proposed as a “pro-life” bill that would increase responsibility “for men in the bringing of life into the world.” Under the new law, fathers won’t have to pay for abortions they didn’t consent to unless the pregnancy was the result of rape or the mother’s life is in danger.
If paternity is in question, the father won’t have to pay until after paternity is established. After that, the father would have to pay back 50% of the medical costs.
The bill passed the Senate unanimously but was opposed by Democrats in the House. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle had expressed concerns about the challenges that mothers might face in getting the money, especially if the father was an abusive partner that they might then be tied to as a result.
Brammer said the bill would function similarly to existing child support laws.