Utah is Doing All of the Incorrect Issues for Ladies – The Every day Utah Chronicle

Rishi Deka

A woman holds a sign that reads “Women’s rights are human rights” on Monday, January 23, 2017 at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Rishi Deka | Daily Utah Chronicle)

A new law passed in Utah requires fathers to pay half the cost of pregnancy, increasing the financial responsibility of men. Bill HB 113 was introduced as a “pro-life” measure and is slightly less restrictive than the abortion laws proposed in the last legislature. In the past, Utah had restrictive abortion laws. A bill that would block all abortions after 18 weeks made significant strides in 2019 but has since stalled. Utah also has an abortion trigger ban, which means abortions will become illegal immediately if Roe v. Wade is knocked over. Unfortunately, women face many obstacles during pregnancy, and while reducing the financial cost of pregnancy helps, Utah lawmakers should consider reforms like improving sex education and access to health care for impoverished women. These measures would help prevent unwanted pregnancies and protect pregnant women.

One of the hardest parts of being a single parent is worrying about adequate child support. Only 43.5 percent of the caring parents received the full amount of the child benefit due. Since I grew up with a single mother, I would like to add that the amount required by law is not enough to cover a child’s expenses. To ease the financial pressure on my mother, my parents agreed that additional expenses would have to be paid if my mother asked them to. However, not all parents are willing to make an additional contribution, so the custody parent bears most of the financial responsibility.

On average, delivering a baby in a hospital can cost up to $ 10,000 with no medical complications. This amount does not cover the cost of a nine-month pregnancy, leaving single mothers on low incomes with serious financial difficulties. To add additional requirements like those proposed by HB 113, pregnant women would have to navigate the costly legal system. This process could delay the payments required by HB 113 for months and result in mothers with immediate financial needs potentially lacking money.

This law would create a new legal link between mothers and fathers, including abusive partners. Domestic and intimate partner violence is extremely common in Utah. One in three women experiences partner violence, and 42% of adult murders involve abuse of domestic or intimate partners. Domestic violence-related calls have increased significantly during the pandemic, although these situations are often not reported. From 2006 to 2015, only 56 percent of all non-fatal incidents of domestic violence were reported to the police. In addition, COVID-19 has closed many emergency shelters that provide a safe haven and services for women – and keep victims trapped in dangerous environments.

Often women are forced to stay with abusive partners due to financial difficulties. HB 113 can inadvertently force women to make a difficult decision: remain a victim of reproductive coercion or become a single mother. Representative Brian King cast the only vote against this bill. King stated, “I think it’s really important that men develop a greater sensitivity and commitment to the idea that as men we need to start seeing and thinking about the consequences of our sexual behavior in ways that work for them Persistence is more sensitive and long-lasting effects on women. “However, the concerns raised by domestic violence organizations in Utah were too great to ignore. “I listened carefully to the domestic violence community … who said, ‘This makes us nervous because if you have an abusive relationship we think that it might give more consideration and increase the likelihood of these abusers digging their claws further into women in a way that will create real problems, ”he said.

Pro-life advocates for this law hope it will reduce abortions, but that is unlikely. In 2018, Utah had 3,082 abortions, roughly 4.5% of all pregnancies (including miscarriages). Only 0.3% of all national abortions are performed in Utah, but there are no statistics on how many women resort to unsafe procedures because they do not have access to abortion services. The cost of raising a child is a major driver of women undergoing abortion procedures, but it is not the only one. More and more women say that having a child meddling in their work or education is the number one reason they choose to have abortion, as is relationship problems and the fear of being a single mother. Without immediate support for pregnancy expenses and the projected $ 233,610 needed to raise a child, a single mother shouldn’t be able to simply wait and hope to receive payments. No financial compensation from men can match the physical, financial and emotional risks faced by women with pregnancy and single motherhood.

If pro-life leaders want to reduce abortions, there are more effective ways to help pregnant women. Experts have argued that abortion restrictions like those in Utah do not significantly reduce abortion rates. Globally, abortion rates will only decrease as countries expand access to abortion services. Expanding access to health care, reproductive services and sex education in schools are good practices to alleviate the difficulties and burdens of pregnant women. In Colorado, free birth control for teenagers and low-income women reduced teenage pregnancies by 40% and the abortion rate by 42%.

Rather than promoting best practices to reduce abortion rates, Utah continues to focus on women new to pregnancy. Utah legislature rejected a bill this February requiring the definition of consent and sexual violence to be added to sex-ed, as lawmakers feared it would encourage sex. The majority of Utah lawmakers ignore research and statistics showing that increased sex education decreases teenage pregnancy. Instead, they continue to promote abstinence-only sex education, which does not reduce the likelihood of teens having sexual intercourse when compared to comprehensive sex education. Utah makes it difficult for women to access reproductive services. The state expanded access to Medicaid but did not include family planning services and only covered abortions for rape, incest, harm to the fetus, health complications, and endangering mother’s life. Compared to the rest of the United States, Utah received a failed F grade for reproductive services and rights.

Utah focuses on the wrong solutions to help pregnant women. Restricting access to birth control, limiting health care support, and allowing inadequate sexes to continue, only harms women. Ignoring the voices of women and documented research into the health and wellbeing of women shows how little Utah’s “pro-life” leadership really cares about women. Helping women only when they are pregnant is not a real-life measure at all.

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