West Virginia is among the long list of states working to ban or reduce access to abortion care since the Supreme Court overturned the half-century precedent protecting the right of privacy in that medical decision. Now, one WV legislator is arguing against enforcing child support for the absent parent of all the babies this decision could produce.
People seek abortions for many reasons, but finances are definitely on the list. Chris Pritt (R-WV) seems to think that a good way to help with this is to deny financial support from the absent parent to those who are forced to carry an unintended pregnancy to term.
Why? Because, according to him, a man who realizes that becoming a parent means taking on financial responsibility, if no other kind, for 18 years or more, might decide abortion is a good idea,and may coerce his partner into that choice.
West Virginia State Rep. Chris Pritt (R) attempts to argue that making absent fathers pay child support will encourage more abortions during debate on the state’s proposed restrictive abortion bill. pic.twitter.com/JY5DbO9jxD
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“Let’s say you’ve got a father who doesn’t want to really be involved in the life at all really. He knows if she carries through the pregnancy, he’s going to have possibly some sort of child support obligation, and so what he wants to do is, he wants to, in a sense encourage her to go and find a way to get an abortion…he knows that she might be in such a vulnerable position that she decides, ‘It’s not worth everything he’s going to put me through to carry this pregnancy forward. It’s going to be easier, it’s going to be better, for me to go and just terminate this life.’
What she does is, she goes over to Virginia, she goes over to some other state where abortion is legal, and she goes and gets the abortion…I don’t want to be doing anything whatsoever that is encouraging folks to go and get an abortion.”
Pritt does not address how he thinks that knowing the full financial and physical responsibility will fall on the mother’s shoulders without support from the father might influence her decision about whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com