When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its devastating ruling overturning Roe v. Wade on June 24, it emboldened anti-abortion politicians across the country to decimate access to abortion and force countless people to remain pregnant against their will. In New Jersey, advocates and lawmakers have taken proactive steps to safeguard abortion rights by passing the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act, but there is much more to do to expand abortion access for all.
The ACLU of New Jersey remains committed to ensuring reproductive health care, including abortion, is accessible for all New Jerseyans regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, immigration status, income, or insurance, and continues to urge lawmakers to pass legislation to ensure meaningful access to reproductive autonomy in New Jersey.
“The decision of when and whether to have a child is a fundamental human right, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade upends core autonomy and privacy rights in many parts of our country,” said ACLU-NJ Executive Director Amol Sinha. “This moment calls for bold action; anything less is unacceptable. We urge lawmakers to immediately take action to ensure New Jersey expands access to abortion for all as nationwide bans loom.”
States like New Jersey that protect the legal right to an abortion will now play an even more critical role in providing care to people from states that ban or severely restrict abortion. The impact of these attacks — being forced to carry a pregnancy against your will, face poverty, stay with an abusive partner, or miss economic and career opportunities — disproportionately impact people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ+ communities, young people, low-income people, and those living in rural areas.
New Jersey can and must be a leader in addressing these systemic health care inequities and take immediate action to tear down the barriers to abortion care that remain in place and harm far too many people in our state.
In June of this year, the Reproductive Equity Act (S2918/A4350) was introduced in the New Jersey Legislature. This bill represents the immediate action needed to remove barriers that stand in the way of accessing the fundamental right to abortion care and ensure that all people who can become pregnant in our state can get the care they need. New Jersey lawmakers must immediately advance and sign the Reproductive Equity Act into law.
On July 18, Vice President Kamala Harris held meetings with New Jersey advocates for reproductive rights in Atlantic City, and ACLU-NJ Legal Director Jeanne LoCicero and Campaign Strategist Alejandra Sorto were in attendance and had the opportunity to provide remarks during the event. During this session, Vice President Harris discussed the ongoing efforts by the Biden-Harris administration to protect the right to abortion and offered the opportunity to discuss how the federal government can support proactive efforts in states like New Jersey. During this event the ACLU of New Jersey emphasized the need for our state lawmakers to immediately take action to expand access and remove barriers to abortion care that continue to stand in the way, particularly for people of color and low-income communities, by passing the Reproductive Equity Act.
We can’t afford to stay quiet when our fundamental rights and freedoms are on the line. That’s why we won’t stop fighting until abortion care isn’t just legal, but accessible and affordable for all in New Jersey. You can help by taking action.