In Iowa, Ron DeSantis is taking a firm stance in favor of men being obligated to pay support to women carrying their children from the moment of conception by way of “making sure that the fathers are involved.”
Ironically, the supermajority Florida Legislature had an opportunity to do just that during its consideration and passage of the state’s Heartbeat Protection Act, banning abortion after six weeks of gestation except in the cases of rare exceptions.
An amendment from Rep. Katherine Waldron would have compelled the father of a baby whose underage mother was denied an abortion to put up a $300,000 bond for financial support of the mother and impose a condition of no contact on the father. That bond would have been in effect until the child became an adult or could live independently, whichever came first.
However, the language didn’t make it into the final product, with the House passing the Senate product.
Waldron noted in April that 48 amendments to the “forced pregnancy bill” from House Democrats failed, with attempts by the super-minority party “to mitigate consequences of child pregnancies & pregnancies due to rape & incest all … voted down.”
She contended, “If all of our amendments had been accepted, then we would have at least gotten a bill with more exceptions, paid maternity leave, increased health care funding, held the father financially accountable and much more.”
DeSantis has contended that many abortions are driven by a lack of financial support from men to women they impregnate.
He said Florida was “sympathetic” to expectant mothers mulling abortion and that the fathers of the unborn children should pay child support to the mothers.
“Most of these women do not want to have abortions, but they feel like they have no other options because they get no support. And that’s because a lot of these men are nowhere to be found,” DeSantis told Kayleigh McEnany on Fox News in September.
“They should absolutely be providing support,” DeSantis added. “They should absolutely be held accountable.”
DeSantis said that in Florida, being “pro-life means for the whole kit and caboodle,” noting that state law expands postpartum medical care and options for foster care and adoption.
“I think a lot of it comes down to whether women think it’s financially feasible to do that. And when they don’t get support from the father, then it can be overwhelming. So, we in Florida are sympathetic to those women in that situation,” DeSantis said.