Arkansas lawmakers are considering a bill that would require biological fathers to pay half of the mother’s out-of-pocket pregnancy expenses for the care of their unborn children.

According to 5 News OnlineHouse Bill 1870 passed the state House on Monday and now is being considered in a Senate committee.

Sponsored by state Sen. Breanne Davis, R-Russellville, and state Rep. Aaron Pilkington, R-Knoxville, the bill would require a man determined to be the biological father of an unborn baby to pay 50 percent of medical costs related to the pregnancy and childbirth. These costs include health insurance premiums that are not covered by the mother’s employer and any other out-of-pocket medical costs for her and her unborn baby, starting from the moment of conception.

The bill also states that the biological father does not have to pay for an abortion if he objects. Exceptions would be allowed in cases of rape or risks to the mother’s life.

Utah passed a similar law earlier this month, and the Georgia heartbeat law that passed in 2019 also includes child support provisions for unborn babies and allows parents to claim unborn babies as dependents on their taxes.

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All states require biological fathers to pay child support, but these new legislative initiatives require specific costs to be covered before the baby is born. Many hope the assurance of support will help mothers who are struggling financially choose life for their babies.

The legislation also protects fathers from being forced to help pay for their child to be aborted. This is significant because fathers do not have any legal right to protect their unborn child from being aborted if the mother decides to have an abortion.

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