Today, Thrive New Jersey, a diverse coalition of organizations fighting for sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice, launched a new campaign calling on state lawmakers to pass the Reproductive Freedom Act. The legislation (S3030/A4848), which is designed to guarantee abortion access for all New Jerseyans, comes amid nationwide threats to abortion access, including an upcoming Supreme Court case that could eliminate or severely restrict the legal right to an abortion established by Roe v. Wade.
To urge state legislators to immediately pass the Reproductive Freedom Act, Thrive NJ’s campaign, supported by the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH), will include advertisements in key news outlets, a mobile billboard which will travel through Atlantic City for three days during the popular NJ League of Municipalities conference, and a social media campaign crafted to raise awareness of the critical legislation.
“The legal right to abortion has never been enough to guarantee access for communities facing systemic barriers to health care,” said Alejandra Sorto, Campaign Strategist for the ACLU of New Jersey. “Codifying the right to abortion is a start, but we need the RFA to ensure that our most marginalized communities—including Black, Latinx and other people of color, immigrant communities, LGBTQ+ people and young people—can truly afford the abortion care they need and also have enough clinics and providers available to offer that care in a timely manner. Our campaign is about uplifting the needs of these communities who have been ignored, and showing politicians that their constituents demand action, now.”
First introduced in October 2020, the Reproductive Freedom Act would protect the legal right to abortion in New Jersey and expand access by removing financial and political barriers to abortion and other forms of reproductive health care. The bill would reduce financial barriers by requiring insurers to cover abortion and birth control with no out-of-pocket costs. The legislation would further increase abortion access by expanding the range of medical professionals who are allowed to provide abortions and by removing medically unnecessary restrictions on abortions later in pregnancy.
“Abortion care is a critical component of the comprehensive reproductive health care we all deserve,” said Dr. Kristyn Brandi, abortion provider in New Jersey and board chair for Physicians for Reproductive Health. “As a health care provider, I need to be able to offer care based on what my patients need, without interference from politicians who don’t have any medical expertise. My patients deserve access to abortion, contraception and pre- and post-natal care no matter where they live or how much money they make.”
“As dozens of anti-abortion restrictions sweep the nation, and as the Supreme Court considers a case challenging Roe v. Wade, protecting abortion access is more critical than ever before,” said Anjali Mehrotra, President, National Organization for Women of New Jersey. “Amid this crisis, our campaign is showing lawmakers that New Jersey has an opportunity to emerge as a clear leader by ensuring that our residents have real access to reproductive health care. People in New Jersey need to know that not only is their legal right to abortion protected in this state, but that they’ll actually be able to exercise that right without financial or logistical barriers.”
Recent polling from Rutgers-Eagleton shows that a majority of New Jerseyans would like to see the state pass laws that protect and expand access to abortion care. This aligns with NIRH polling from earlier in the year that shows an overwhelming majority of New Jersey voters support abortion rights and do not want lawmakers interfering with decisions about abortion. Two-thirds of New Jerseyans believe that New Jersey must address structural inequities in the health care system that prevent people of color, low-income people, and other vulnerable groups from accessing quality health care. Over 70% of New Jerseyans agree that New Jersey should protect abortion access through the Reproductive Freedom Act.
About Thrive New Jersey
Thrive New Jersey is a diverse coalition of organizations reflecting a wide scope of New Jersey populations and issues, and include medical providers, legal experts, policy experts, faith-based organizations, immigrant rights groups and other community-based organizations from around the state. Together, we work to promote sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice through policy change and advocacy. Learn more at www.thrive-nj.com.