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What is preglimony? The new term in unplanned pregnancies

If a professor of law at the University of Richmond has her way, males in unmarried couples may be legally required to financially support females that they impregnate. The concept is called "preglimony," a term invented by the female professor. Its effects on family law in New Jersey and beyond could be substantial.

The focus of preglimony is the disproportionate risks that a woman experiences as a result of non-reproductive sex. While many forms of contraception are available, including condoms and birth control pills, none are 100 percent guaranteed. This can result in an unexpected or mistimed pregnancy for a woman, the effects of which are emotional, physical and financial.

When a woman becomes pregnant, her hormones alter her emotional behavior and the growth of her child changes her physical capabilities. Though these changes are temporary, they can seriously affect the income-generating ability of the woman, often causing her to lose income, especially in cases where her employer does not provide pay for maternity leave.

In addition to losing income, a pregnant woman must pay for maternity clothes, birthing classes, ultrasounds, tests, nutritional supplements, OB/GYN visits, amongst others. By looking at the costs after they are totaled, one realizes that a pregnancy can be quite expensive.

Currently, state law does not require a man to support the woman he has impregnated. While many men do support their future child's mother, this is not always the case and since there is no law dictating otherwise, the man is allowed to behave in whatever manner he desires. Preglimony would change that.

An analysis of unintended pregnancies from 2011 found that at least 40 percent of pregnancies were mistimed or unwanted. About 41 percent of children are born to unmarried women while 40 percent of those unmarried women are cohabiting. Even in cohabiting situations, the financial support that would be required through preglimony is not always apparent.

Source: Huffington Post, "Should Men Pay for Their Lover's Pregnancy?," Vicki Larson, June 4, 2012

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