When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade — the landmark decision recognizing the constitutional right to abortion — it stripped millions of people across the country of their fundamental human right to reproductive autonomy and emboldened anti-abortion politicians across the country to go even further.
While abortion is still legal in New Jersey, many people cannot access the reproductive care they need because New Jersey lawmakers have not addressed the barriers that push care out of reach for too many in our state, especially communities of color, immigrants, LGBTQ+ communities, and people who are low-income.
To begin dismantling these barriers, New Jersey lawmakers must take immediate action to expand access to abortion in our state by passing the Reproductive Equity Act (REA).
What the Reproductive Equity Act Does
- Mandates many private insurers to cover abortion care with no out-of-pocket costs to the patient.
- Establishes a program to support the costs of abortion care for people who are uninsured or underinsured, including undocumented community members.
- Creates a Reproductive Health Access Fund to support abortion care clinical training programs, preserve and expand facilities across the state, and offer grants to reproductive health care facilities for security and operational needs.
- Codifies regulations that authorize health care professionals in New Jersey to provide abortion care.
- Enacts protections for providers and patients seeking abortion care.
Why the REA is Important
At its core, the Reproductive Equity Act is guided by the principles of equity and justice. At a time when millions of people across the country are being stripped of their fundamental human right to make decisions about their lives and bodies, New Jersey must be a leader in ensuring that the right to abortion care is accessible and equitable for all who need it. Anything less is unacceptable.
The gap in abortion access is a racial and economic justice issue. Barriers to reproductive health care reinforce structural inequities that overwhelmingly harm communities of color and undocumented community members. We must guarantee that abortion care is not just legal, but accessible and affordable for all, regardless of insurance, immigration status, or income, and we need it now.