A Conversation Guide to Abortion Rights in New Jersey

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade and the wave of Election Day victories for reproductive freedom across the country, we know that abortion rights could come up in conversation (say, at Thursday’s dinner table.)

That’s why we put together a guide to help you talk about your right to abortion in New Jersey, dispel misinformation, and organize your family and friends in the fight to ensure abortion care isn’t just legal, but accessible for all.

Talking to your family and friends about reproductive freedom and our rights is one of the best ways to organize your community in the fight for abortion access. So, no matter what conversation you find yourself in, we hope that you find this guide useful in the days, weeks, and months to come.

1. Is abortion legal in New Jersey?

A.Is abortion legal in New Jersey?

A.

Yes, unequivocally. Abortion is legal and constitutionally protected in New Jersey, with the right guaranteed through legislation and under our state Constitution.

2. Does New Jersey's Medicaid program cover abortion?

A.Does New Jersey's Medicaid program cover abortion?

A.

Yes. New Jersey is one of 15 states whose state Medicaid program covers abortion, in addition to other reproductive health care.

3. Does private insurance cover abortion?

A.Does private insurance cover abortion?

A.

Some do, some don’t. Many private insurances do cover abortion, but in New Jersey, they are not required to do so at this time. The ACLU-NJ is advocating for legislation that requires insurance companies that operate in the state to cover abortion care with no out of pocket costs to the patient. Take action to help pass this important legislation.

4. Can I get an abortion if I'm under 18?

A.Can I get an abortion if I'm under 18?

A.

Yes. In New Jersey, anyone who becomes pregnant can obtain an abortion, and they can provide consent for their medical care. The New Jersey Supreme Court struck down a law requiring parental notification in New Jersey.

5. Can I get an abortion in New Jersey if I'm a resident of another state?

A.Can I get an abortion in New Jersey if I'm a resident of another state?

A.

Yes, in New Jersey, our laws protect the right for someone from another state to have an abortion here, and the right for health care practitioners to provide them. But the laws of other states are still developing now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned federal protections of abortion rights. If you’re living in a state with laws restricting residents’ rights to receive abortion care, an important first step is speaking with a provider to ask about your options for getting care. We also encourage you to contact your state ACLU affiliate and other local organizations that focus on reproductive freedom. The fast-changing legal landscape makes definitive answers difficult.

New Jersey recently enacted a law that prohibits state officials from cooperating with out-of-state investigations seeking to prosecute providers or patients for providing abortion care, and we are monitoring its implementation. An important note: although New Jersey lawmakers have endeavored to protect people both in-state and out, given the current climate, it’s difficult to accurately assess the level of risk people from other states assume regarding their state’s enforcement, despite New Jersey’s protections.

6. How do I find an abortion provider in New Jersey?

A.How do I find an abortion provider in New Jersey?

A.

The website Abortion Finder – at www.abortionfinder.org – provides a nationwide tool for finding abortion providers, allowing searches based on factors including location and length of the pregnancy.

Please be aware that some clinics offer comprehensive services, but do not provide or refer for abortion care. Often referred to as Pregnancy Resource Centers or Crisis Pregnancy Centers, they use language similar to abortion care providers, but seek to deter people from accessing abortion care.  

7. Does the Dobbs decision affect New Jersey law?

A.Does the Dobbs decision affect New Jersey law?

A.

No, the U.S. Supreme Court decision does not change abortion law in New Jersey. In New Jersey, abortion and reproductive autonomy are protected by state law and the state Constitution, for those who live here and for those coming from another state. 

8. Does New Jersey need a constitutional amendment to protect abortion?

A.Does New Jersey need a constitutional amendment to protect abortion?

A.

The right to abortion is already a fundamental constitutional right in New Jersey. Our state constitution provides robust privacy protections, which our state courts have interpreted for forty years to protect the right to an abortion. The Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act (FRCA), signed into law in January 2022, specifically recognized the existing constitutional protections and codified reproductive rights into state law.  

Any effort to amend our state constitution would require a careful, deliberative process involving constitutional experts to ensure that it safeguards existing rights without adding harmful restrictions or creating limitations to future protections. 

Instead of a constitutional amendment, what is urgently needed in New Jersey is the removal of barriers that prevent people from accessing their right to abortion. New Jersey lawmakers must take immediate action to make abortion access a reality for all who need it by passing the Reproductive Equity Act.

9. What resources are available to help navigate reproductive health care?

A.What resources are available to help navigate reproductive health care?

A.

10. How can I get involved to support and expand reproductive freedom in New Jersey?

A.How can I get involved to support and expand reproductive freedom in New Jersey?

A.

While abortion care remains safe and legal in New Jersey, this moment calls for immediate action to ensure that this essential health care is accessible for all in the Garden State. A bill in our state Legislature, S2918/A4350, would expand abortion access regardless of insurance, income, or immigration status. Take action to expand abortion care for all by passing and signing into law S2918/A4350.