Lawmakers in Trenton are reconvening beginning Monday, Aug. 8, with the aim of tackling pending issues on their agenda, focusing in particular on seating a backlog of judicial nominees.

A fundamental issue demands immediate action as they reconvene: the expansion of access to abortion. Even from long before the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson ended the constitutional protection of abortion at the federal level, this issue has been paramount. In the aftermath of this decision, it’s particularly urgent that New Jersey act immediately to go beyond protecting the right to abortion care by expanding access to make abortion care obtainable for all New Jerseyans.

A bill currently before the Legislature, S2918/A4350, would expand access to abortion for New Jerseyans regardless of their insurance, immigration status, or income. Every second our lawmakers fail to pass this legislation, patients and providers endure even more duress.

Here’s what this vital legislation to expand access to abortion, S2918/A4350, would do: 

  • Require all private insurance plans used in New Jersey to cover abortion care with no out-of-pocket costs to the patient. 
  • Establish financial support for New Jerseyans who need abortion care but are uninsured or underinsured.  
  • Create the Reproductive Health Access Fund, which would support abortion care clinical training programs, expand the number of providers, and offer security and operations grants to reproductive health care facilities.  
  • Codify regulations authorizing health care professionals to provide abortion care and enact protections for patients and providers alike.

Several other states – California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New York, Oregon, and Washington – already require private insurance to cover abortion care, and most require no out-of-pocket costs or copays.

The stakes could not be higher. Our lawmakers have a responsibility to make sure that abortion isn’t just legal, but accessible, and this moment calls for bold and immediate action. All of us have to do our part.

Expanding access in New Jersey can ensure that everyone in our state is able to access the care they need, when they need it, as well as support people seeking care from states across the country that continue to restrict or outright ban access to this time-sensitive care.

As we pursue expansion of access to abortion care after such a seismic shift in reproductive freedom, it’s important for all of us to know the protections we have for those rights. 

A central fact is this: New Jersey unequivocally protects the right to abortion. State law and court precedents ensure that you have the right to receive reproductive care, including abortion. Several resources can help answer questions in greater depth and find abortion care: 

No matter how strong of a right we have to abortion, we cannot overcome obstacles that make it impossible to obtain abortion services. For far too many New Jerseyans, that’s the case. That’s why we need our lawmakers to act, and we need them to act now, as they reconvene this summer.

We need you to take action. Tell your lawmakers to expand access to abortion care in New Jersey to all who need it, regardless of insurance, immigration status, or income.

Access to reproductive health care, including abortion, must be legal, affordable, and accessible for all, and now is the moment for our lawmakers to do their part.