Utah is the first state to legally require biological fathers to pay half of a woman's out-of-pocket pregnancy costs.
While other states, including Wisconsin and New York, have provisions that can result in a father paying for prenatal costs, Utah is the first to mandate it, according to The Associated Press, citing the state's Planned Parenthood association and the bill's sponsor.
The bill's sponsor said the legislation is an effort to decrease the burden of pregnancy on woman and increase responsibility for men. According to The Associated Press, critics say the new bill won't help women who are most vulnerable and could make abusive situations even more dangerous.
Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed the proposal, which would apply to a pregnant woman's health insurance premiums and any related medical costs.
"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," Representative Brady Brammer said.
As far as paternity goes, dads won't need to pay until paternity is established. In the case of an abortion, "the father also wouldn’t be financially responsible for the cost of an abortion received without his consent unless it’s necessary to prevent the death of the mother or if the pregnancy was the result of rape," The Associated Press reported.
In Utah, mothers can seek support for birth expenses through the courts, but it's rare.
To read more about the new bill, click here.