Rights are Not Enough — We Must Advance Equity by Removing Barriers to Reproductive Health Care

November 8, 2021

As the New Jersey State legislature goes back into session this morning, more than 75 New Jersey based organizations have signed on to a statement declaring their support for the Reproductive Freedom Act urging lawmakers to take action and pass the bill in its entirety before the close of the current legislative session. Introduced in October 2020, the Reproductive Freedom Act (S3030/A4848) is a proactive bill that both ensures the right to abortion in New Jersey and removes barriers to access, especially for our most vulnerable and marginalized populations.


We, the undersigned, stand together to demand that New Jersey do more than codify existing abortion rights. A rights declaration, without addressing barriers, fails to ensure that everyone — no matter their income, zip code, or immigration status — can get an abortion in our state.

Nearly 50,000 New Jerseyans will decide to have an abortion this year. Some will be forced to travel long distances or struggle to raise the funds needed to pay for their time-sensitive abortion care. Some individuals in need of care later in pregnancy will need to travel out of state to access services that could have been provided safely and compassionately in New Jersey. For some, these obstacles will prove to be insurmountable, pushing care completely out of reach.

At its core, the Reproductive Freedom Act (S3030/A4848) was designed to eliminate these unnecessary barriers to care. Choosing instead to simply “codify” rights for those with adequate resources is not enough. And it certainly doesn’t advance health equity. We will not leave any community behind; that includes our young people, people who earn low wages, people living in rural areas, undocumented immigrants, LGBTQIA+ folks, and communities of color disproportionately impacted by systemic racism and reproductive oppression.

As lawmakers return to Trenton, we urge them to stand for reproductive rights, equity, and access. One in four women will have an abortion in their lifetime, and that includes many of their constituents, their colleagues, their friends and family, as well as those sitting with them in their places of worship. We urge lawmakers to respect patients and providers whose lived experiences demonstrate the need for abortion care throughout pregnancy. We urge them to reject abortion stigma and the demonization of those seeking and providing abortion care.

At this critical moment in history, New Jersey needs legislation that both protects and expands access to reproductive health care. This means declaring the right to reproductive health care for ALL New Jerseyans, but more importantly, removing remaining barriers so that they can better access and receive medical care and qualified clinicians can provide that care without political interference.

A bill that continues to perpetuate health care access inequities is unacceptable. Now we are asking our elected representatives — are you with us?

SIGNED BY:
1. ACLU of New Jersey
2. Action Together New Jersey
3. All of Us or None - South Jersey
4. American Friends and Service Committee Prison Watch Program
5. BlueWaveNJ
6. Catholics for Choice
7. Cherry Hill Women's Center
8. Democratic Women of Ocean County
9. Garden State Equality
10. Gloucester County NAACP #2345
11. HiTOPS
12. If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice
13. If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, Rutgers Law School - Camden chapter
14. Immigrant Rights Collective - Rutgers Newark
15. Indivisible Lambertville New Hope
16. La Casa Dominicana NJ
17. Latino Action Network Foundation
18. Lazos America unida
19. League of Women Voters of New Jersey
20. LGBTQ+ Caucus: Rutgers Law School
21. Livingston High School National Organization of Women Campus Action Network
22. Make the Road New Jersey's Youth Power Project
23. Medical Students For Choice (MSFC)
24. Melinated Moms
25. MomsRising
26. National Association of Social Workers - NJ Chapter
27. National Council of Jewish Women, Bergen County Section
28. National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section
29. National Council of Jewish Women, Jersey Hills Section
30. National Council of Jewish Women, West Morris Section
31. National Organization for Women of New Jersey
32. New Jersey Affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives
33. New Jersey Black Women Physicians Association
34. New Jersey Citizen Action
35. New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence
36. New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition
37. New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute
38. New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
39. New Jersey Policy Perspective
40. New Jersey Tenants Organization
41. NJ 11th For Change
42. NJ LGBTQ Democrats
43. NJ State Industrial Union Council
44. NJ5 Coalition
45. North Jersey Sierra Group
46. Northern NJ NOW
47. Occupy Bergen County
48. Ocean County NOW
49. Ocean County Young Democrats
50. People's Organization for Progress
51. Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey
52. RAC-NJ (New Jersey Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism)
53. Reproductive Health Access Project- New Jersey Chapter
54. Reproductive Justice Team of The Unitarian Society of Ridgewood
55. Rutgers Camden Muslim Law Student Association
56. Rutgers Cannabis Law Association
57. Rutgers Law Camden Immigration Law Society
58. Rutgers Law School Camden’s Disability Law Student Association
59. Rutgers Parity Project
60. Seton Hall Law Family Law Society
61. Social Action Committee of Temple Emeth, Teaneck NJ
62. SOMA Action
63. South Jersey NOW Alice Paul Chapter
64. SPAN Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN)
65. Speaking of Birth
66. Stanton Strong Inc.
67. Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates
68. Temple Avodat Shalom
69. Temple Emeth Social Action Committee
70. The Children's Home Society of New Jersey
71. Transformative Justice Initiative
72. UU Faith Action NJ
73. Women Empowered Democratic Organization (WE DO) of Bergen County
74. Women for Progress
75. Women's Rights Information Center
76. YWCA Northern New Jersey


 

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