ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, Vice President Kamala Harris today participated in a roundtable in Atlantic City with Acting Attorney General Matt Platkin, state legislators, and advocates about the importance of state-level protections for reproductive rights. While many other states are making abortion illegal or heavily restricting access to reproductive health care, New Jersey has codified reproductive rights into state law and taken additional steps to both protect and expand access to abortions.
"The Supreme Court took an established constitutional right from the people,” said Vice President Kamala Harris. "This is a national health care crisis. Every woman should be able to make decisions about their bodies without government interference."
“New Jersey is prepared to serve as a national model for the defense of reproductive freedom in these turbulent and divisive times,” said Governor Murphy. “Our Administration is proud to partner with Vice President Harris, who has been an unwavering champion in the fight for reproductive rights. We will continue to protect this fundamental freedom in our state by expanding access to abortion and shielding both patients and providers. I applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for taking action to protect abortion rights and for joining us today to highlight the importance of reproductive health care rights at the state level for anyone seeking these critical services within our borders.”
Vice President Harris, Acting Attorney General Platkin, Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz, Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, ACLU-NJ Campaign Strategist Alejandra Sorto, and President and CEO at Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey Roslyn Rogers Collins discussed steps that can be taken by states like New Jersey to help their own residents and Americans from neighboring states access the reproductive services they need.
Governor Murphy signed the Reproductive Freedom Act into law in January 2022 – codifying the right to an abortion into state law. In July, the Governor signed two additional bills into law to protect reproductive health care providers and out-of-state residents seeking reproductive services in New Jersey from professional or legal repercussions.
To enhance equitable access to reproductive health care, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance was also directed earlier this year to conduct a study regarding the need for regulations to ensure health insurance coverage of abortions. Upon conclusion of the study, the Department may adopt regulations requiring State insurance plan to provide coverage for abortion.
The Fiscal Year 2023 State budget also included funding to support reproductive services in New Jersey, including $10 million for reproductive health care facilities, $5 million for reproductive health care clinical training, $5 million for reproductive health care security measures, and a total of $30 million to support family planning.
At the federal level, the Biden Administration has issued an executive order to protect and expand access to medication abortion, contraception, and emergency medical care while safeguarding sensitive health information, supporting providers, establishing an interagency taskforce, and more.
"It was an honor to join Vice President Harris, state legislators, and advocates today in Atlantic City to discuss how New Jersey is a model for the nation in protecting access to reproductive rights and abortion care," said Acting Attorney General Platkin. "Under Governor Murphy's leadership, we will always stand up for reproductive rights."
“As we continue to grapple with the heart wrenching Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade, I am grateful for the Vice President’s steadfast commitment to protecting reproductive rights. Here in New Jersey we have enacted several measures to safeguard access to reproductive health care, not only for our residents but for anyone seeking care here. While we can only control what goes on in our state, we believe strongly in the fundamental right to bodily autonomy and the idea that every person in need of abortion care should get it - safely and legally,” said Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz. “In these uncertain times, I am hopeful other states will follow our lead in solidifying a woman’s right to choose and I am confident President Biden and Vice President Harris will continue to do everything in their power to protect the health and wellbeing of women around the country.”
A woman’s right to make personal health choices should be non-negotiable," said Assemblywoman Mila Jasey. "The Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade over 50 years ago ensured that for all women. Here in New Jersey, we took a preemptive step to codify women’s reproductive health rights into State law with the signing of the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act earlier this year. We must also take action on the federal level to ensure this country will remain a place where all women are able to exercise their reproductive rights and make important and highly personal family planning decisions freely.”
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and its nearly 50-year constitutional protection on the right to abortion is the culmination of decades-long attacks to dismantle reproductive rights in the United States,” said ACLU-NJ Campaign Strategist Alejandra Sorto. “As anti-abortion politicians move to strip millions of people across the country of the fundamental human right to reproductive autonomy, states like New Jersey must continue leading with bold action to remove barriers that push abortion care out of reach for far too many, including communities most harmed by systemic racism. We call on lawmakers to pass abortion access legislation and welcome every opportunity to help make New Jersey a national leader in reproductive freedom for all.”