Politics

What is Fair

Utah Law Makes Biological Fathers Pay 50% Of All Pregnancy Medical Bills

By: Kylie Hapuarachchi

The astronomical cost of having a child in the US. Credit: BBC.com

Pregnancy is a moment in time in which the woman has to sacrifice nine months of her life to bring life into the world. The untold truth about child delivery is that the women will be facing thousands of dollars in medical bills for it. 

Not until recently, biological fathers had a choice of being in the child and mother’s life. However, now in the state of Utah, a new law has been passed to ensure financial security to the mother. 

The law requires that, “biological fathers … pay half of a mother’s insurance premiums – her monthly health insurance costs – during pregnancy as well as all other related medical fees, including the birth of the child.”

This is done to lessen the burden of motherhood on American women. 

The Health Affairs Journal found that in the years 2008-2015 the average childbirth cost $4,500 out of pocket for those who had insurance.

For women who lacked insurance were left with almost double the cost at around $10,000. 

This law was created to put the responsibility on the biological father, which is a choice given to women. They can also opt-out of getting assistance from the father. 

Also, if the paternity of the child is in question, the father has the option to hold out on payments until there is a confirmation of the child’s paternity. 

The same does not go for any abortions, the biological father will not be expected to help pay for the abortion especially if it is sought without their consent, even though an abortion can cost up to $1,000 according to Planned Parenthood.

The law will begin to take effect on May 5th, 2021, which had been passed unanimously by the bipartisan support in Utah’s senate, but still faced Democratic judgments when placed into the House of Representatives. 

The Democratic party as well as other women activists believe that this will not meet the needs of the women. 

Utah Congressman, Brady Brunner, believes that this is a step into the ‘pro-life’ path. He has assumed that abortions are often made by one who is “‘scared, alone and poor’”, which is not true. 

Women who have abortions choose to do so for the very reason that they do not feel like they can proceed with carrying and having a financial and emotional burden in their lives.

Pregnancy is a physically and mentally exhausting journey that does not end once the child is born. This reasoning is another insight into why women choose to have an abortion. 

Congressman Brady Brunner turns his beliefs into an ideology that women are in a tough position and that they are alone when making this decision. 

Yes, this law does create a new option for those expecting mothers, however, this will not mean that abortions will decrease. Abortions are a lot cheaper than having a child. 

That average cost of raising a child can reach about $233,610, which does not include the cost of higher education. 

Utah has faced criticism with this law considering that they are ‘pro-life’ and that the state has trigger laws in place just in case Roe vs. Wade gets overturned. 

Even though this law seems like it is something great, there are two sides to it, the one that seems beneficial to women, and the side that shows that the plan is to take the choice away from women. 

Laws of this sort need a larger thought process; government officials do not understand every reasoning behind abortion. In not understanding, they pass laws like this one that seems to create this utopian-like world where men are responsible for half of the pregnancy medical bills.

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