You're reading the headline, scratching your head like wait, isn't this America? Sure, it is. But we also just recently saw the Supreme Court overturn a law that allows women to govern their own bodies. And surprisingly, even before the court struck down Roe vs. Wade, laws about pregnant women being legally allowed to get divorced have been on the books.
Is It Even Possible For A State To Deny A Pregnant Woman A Divorce?
Imagine you find out that you're a woman who finds out that you're pregnant. You feel really happy that you and your significant other are going to have a baby, right? But then something horrible happens like they cheat, or they go to prison, or they start abusing you, or they reveal that they don't want the child, or something else devastating. Or worse yet, your relationship was already on the rocks, but a night of "make-up sex" ended up with more than you both expected, and your marriage still isn't headed in the right direction.
If a pregnant wife decides that it's just not worth it to try to repair the relationship, is she at the mercy of the law when it comes to terminating her marriage?
Here's What New York Law Says
Fortunately, for women in New York, they can, in fact, get a divorce while pregnant. Now, as you can see below, there are seven legal grounds for divorce in the state, so those still come into play. The crazy thing is, there are actually states that won't allow it. According to the American Pregnancy Association,
In Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas the courts will not grant a divorce to a married couple if the wife is pregnant. The courts prefer to wait until after the baby is born to address paternity. The court can then determine if appropriate child-related orders, such as child support, need to be included.
New York State also recently reconfirmed its dedication to keeping abortion legal and safe for women, despite the Supreme Court ruling on Roe vs. Wade. Governor Kathy Hochul announced that $10 million from the Abortion Provider Support Fund has been awarded to 13 programs to continue to protect women's reproductive rights in New York State. The grant recipients cover 63 sites. An additional $15 million in funding will be awarded to broader programs, including indie clinics. Applications will be accepted starting next week.