The bill’s sponsor has presented the measure as an effort to decrease the burden of pregnancy on women and increase responsibility for men who have children. But some critics argue the new legislation won’t help women who are most vulnerable and could make abusive situations even more dangerous for pregnant women.
Utah appears to be the first state to mandate prenatal child support, according to the state’s Planned Parenthood association and the bill’s sponsor. But a few states, including Wisconsin and New York, have provisions that can result in fathers being financially responsible for pre-birth expenses.
Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican, recently signed the proposal, which received widespread support in the GOP-controlled Legislature.
Republican Rep. Brady Brammer said he decided to sponsor the measure because he had grown frustrated with the number of anti-abortion measures going through the Legislature and wanted to pursue legislation that would make it easier to bring life into the world.