This Article argues that unless sexual partners explicitly agree otherwise, pregnancy should create a unique type of legal relationship. This relational default would come with certain obligations: in limited circumstances, a woman would be expected to communicate the fact of a pregnancy to the man with whom she conceived, and a man would be required to help support her during pregnancy and recovery. Child support obligations should kick in only once a child is born; until and unless this happens, a man's economic responsibility should be conceptualized as a responsibility towards the woman herself.
The goal of this Article is to start a conversation about an issue that is critically relevant to our lives yet virtually absent from our laws. Commentary on current laws addressing the pregnancy-related obligations of "unwed fathers" is sparse and the scope of these provisions is uncertain. And while theorists have written extensively on rape, reproductive freedom, family leave policies, public funding for abortion, child support, and pregnancy discrimination in the employment context, virtually no one has focused on the legal relationship between unmarried sexual partners who
Shari Motro, The Price of Pleasure, 104 Nw. U. L. Rev. 917 (2010).