Thursday, May 13, 2021
Fathers in Utah are now legally obliged to pay half the cost of a mother's medical care related to pregnancy and delivery.
Supporters of the law - which is thought to be the first of its kind in the US - say it will help alleviate the financial burden of motherhood for American women.
The legislation passed with bipartisan support - but it raises questions about the cost of parenting in the US, as well as the state's growing roster of anti-abortion legislation.
What does the law say?
Utah's Shared Medical Costs law requires biological fathers to 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.
For US women with insurance, giving birth costs an average of $4,500 (£3,254) out of pocket, according to a study in the Health Affairs journal that tracked costs from 2008 - 2015.
For those without coverage, this figure could more than double: the not-for-profit Fair Health organisation reported the average as closer to $10,000.
Read more here.