By unanimous agreement, Nuevo León lawmakers voted this week to hold accountable fathers who abandon their pregnant partners with fines and up to six years in prison.
The reforms to the state’s penal code will mean punishment for fathers who skip out on obligations to a woman pregnant with their child, as well as persons who ignore their legal responsibilities to someone dependent on them such as an elderly or handicapped person.
Jorge De León Fernández, the local deputy who proposed the reforms in November of last year, said the law is meant to counter the practice of men impregnating women, abandoning them and then ignoring their financial responsibilities.
Discussions among lawmakers eventually expanded de Leon’s proposal to include the elderly and incapacitated.
Violators of the new law could also be fined 15,000–31,000 pesos (US $750–$1,540) and be subject to the loss of paternity, guardianship, inheritance, and custody rights over the child in question. In addition, they could be liable for damage payments as compensation for the time the child was deprived of support.
Fathers who refuse to acknowledge their unborn child could also be charged the cost of a paternity test if it comes out positive.
Source: El Universal (sp)