PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Deadbeat dads better beware.

The South Dakota Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to strengthen state laws regarding pregnancy expenses, including an expansion for postpartum services.

South Dakota Right to Life president Debbie Pease and executive director Dale Bartscher watched from the gallery as Republican Sen. David Wheeler explained the legislation, brought on behalf of Governor Kristi Noem, reflected a pro-life agenda that goes beyond abortion policy.

Wheeler said state law currently says both parents are jointly responsible but the wording is old and the statute is rarely used and mothers don’t ask for expenses. The governor’s proposal provides more clarity, he said.

“The fathers are not necessarily paying their fair share,” Wheeler said. “When a child is born there are two people involved in that, and both people need to be liable for those expenses.”

He said the bill has no effect on custody rights.

Republican Sen. Tom Pischke agreed with the bill’s intent but offered his perspective that South Dakota’s child-support system was unfair.

The legislation now heads to the House, where Republican Rep. Mike Stevens is lead sponsor.