Does Utah adequately fund support for women with unwanted pregnancies?

Jun 24, 2022, 7:35 PM | Updated: 8:08 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The number one reason Utah women seek an abortion is socioeconomic, according to statistics from the Utah Department of Health.

The Guttmacher Institute found that, nationwide, around 75% of abortion patients in 2014 had an income level below the federal poverty level.

Valerie Hudson, a political science professor at Texas A&M University and an expert in women’s policy issues, feels Senate Bill 174, Utah’s so-called “trigger law” outlawing most abortions, should be a model for other Red states, but she admits it lacks support for mothers who would have otherwise chosen an abortion.

“Currently, Utah law basically says, ‘Suck it up, deal with it,’ and that’s not good enough for the state of Utah,” Hudson said. “There is no funding that has been allocated by the state legislature to support women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy.”

Hudson said some policy solutions state lawmakers could consider include financial support for a woman during and after pregnancy.

“Perhaps greater access to Medicaid, perhaps Medicaid for longer than just the birth – but for 100 days after. That is what some states have done,” she said.

Paid parental leave policies could also be put in place, she said. The United States is one of two nations in the world that doesn’t guarantee parental leave.

“Americans have been uncreative in supporting mothers who attempt to combine feeding their children with bearing their children,” she said. “We fail on affordable childcare, not just by a third-party, but also support for mothers who wish to stay at home.”

Hudson even encourages state legislators to look at other countries as models.

“If a woman has a certain number of children in Hungary, she is exempt from income tax for the rest of her life. I mean we could be very creative,” she said.

Earlier this year, Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, introduced HB 382 that would have allocated funds for a 24-hour helpline to connect pregnant women with public and private services, medical assistance benefits, and even financial aid for adoption-related expenses. The bill did not pass the House committee, but Hudson said that should not stop the conversation.

“We need to push for the programs and funding that are going to help these women, she said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Michael Houck

Colorado man dead after UTV accident in Beaver County

A man from Colorado is dead after a UTV accident Saturday afternoon, according to Beaver County Sheriff's office.
1 day ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

Five years after death in Afghanistan, Monticello still remembers Aaron Butler

A community comes together to remember the death of a Utah Green Beret who died in Afghanistan in 2017.
1 day ago
The road on 3300 S near I15 (UDOT)...
Michael Houck

Flash flood advisory for Salt Lake, Davis County

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for areas in Salt Lake and Davis Counties Saturday afternoon.
1 day ago
The aftermath of a suspect who stole an excavator and started to rip up the ground....
Michael Houck & Michael Locklear

Police: Man steals excavator, tears up ground outside grocery store

A man is facing felony charges after stealing an excavator and causing damage to public utilities Saturday afternoon. 
1 day ago
An Aug. 5, 2022 three-car crash claimed one life near the intersection of 4100 South, 4000 West. (J...
Larry D. Curtis

3-car collision in West Valley claims the life of one passenger

One person was killed Friday night in a three-car collision in West Valley City. The victim has not yet been identified.
1 day ago
Ashley Moser

Layton teens jump into water to save distressed swimmer

A group of 17 year olds is emphasizing the importance of water safety after jumping in to save a swimmer at Holmes Reservoir.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Does Utah adequately fund support for women with unwanted pregnancies?