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The Capitol in Salt Lake City is pictured on Thursday,
Feb. 13, 2020.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Making biological fathers financially responsible for pregnancy gets legislative approval

By Hannah Petersen, Deseret News | Posted - Feb. 22, 2021 at 3:34 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — If paternity can be verified, biological fathers may be on the hook if the biological mother seeks payment for the medical costs associated with pregnancy and delivery of the child.

HB113 cleared its final passage Monday when the House OK'd a Senate amendment with more precise language to specify that the father will only pay the costs that the mother incurs, not any costs that the mother's insurance already covered.

The bill awaits the signature of Gov. Spencer Cox.

Bill sponsor Rep. Brady Brammer, R-Highland, has said the intent of the bill was to apply only to the costs incurred by the mother and supported the Senate amendment in clarifying the language. The bill would only apply to fathers whose paternity can be established. The father will be responsible for 50% of the mother's out-of-pocket, including insurance premiums.

Concern about the measure came mainly from House Democrats. House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, was worried about "reproductive coercion" on the part of the biological father to pressure the mother into less expensive medical care that could harm both mother and child.

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Hannah Petersen


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