In 2022, New Jersey showed its commitment to abortion rights by passing a law that ensures it remains legal in the state.
The Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act was a significant victory for abortion advocates, who fought against abortion restrictions in the Garden State. Here’s what the law means for residents of New Jersey.
What Does the New Jersey abortion law do?
The New Jersey abortion law ensures that access to abortions remains a fundamental right in the state of New Jersey.
It guarantees that individuals can access abortion services without facing additional restrictions or roadblocks due to their age or any other factors.
It also prohibits Dilation and Extraction (D&X), commonly known as “partial-birth abortions,” due to ethical concerns.
Finally, it requires that parents or legal guardians be notified if their minor child is seeking an abortion procedure.
Why Was This Law Needed?
Abortion access in the United States has long been a controversial issue. Following the overturning of Roe v Wade in a 2022 Supreme Court ruling, it is no longer a federal right.
With the formation of abortion law being returned to the states, state law now determines abortion rights in the United States.
The passage of this abortion law in New Jersey sends a clear message about its stance on providing abortion services in the state.
It ensures that those seeking access to abortion do not face the same barriers present in more conservative states.
The Right to Privacy Under the State Constitution
The New Jersey Supreme Court has recognized that a woman’s right to privacy is protected under the state constitution and encompasses her right to control her body and destiny.
Governor Phil Murphy codified this recognition into law when he signed the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act in January 2022.
The legislation enacted statutory abortion protections, allowing advanced practice clinicians to provide abortion care up to 14 weeks LMP (Last Menstrual Period).
Public Funding for Abortion Care
Another key component of the New Jersey abortion law is its provision of public funding for abortion care. Typically, states have relied on private funds or insurance coverage to cover the cost of abortions.
However, this new law made it possible for individuals who may not have access to private funds or insurance coverage to obtain an abortion procedure without worrying about financial obligations.
Supporters deemed this an important step forward in ensuring all individuals have access to reproductive health care services regardless of their economic situation.
Out-of-State Investigations & Extradition Prohibitions
Finally, the legislation also included provisions prohibiting cooperation with out-of-state investigators and license terminations related to the lawful provision of abortions in New Jersey.
It also prohibits the extradition of people charged with actions arising from such activities within state borders.
These provisions are especially critical because they protect healthcare providers from being targeted by out-of-state investigators who may be hostile toward providing healthcare related to abortions.
By enacting this state law under Gov Phil Murphy, New Jersey legislators argued that they had taken significant steps towards protecting reproductive rights and ensuring women have access to quality reproductive health care regardless of their economic situation or where they live.
Abortion advocates hope that other states will follow suit in recognizing the right of women to control their bodies and destiny while taking precautions against out-of-state interference with abortion providers within state lines.