Rights. Equity. Access.
Abortion rights are meaningless unless care is available, affordable, and accessible for anyone who needs it.
In New Jersey, our right to abortion and contraception is guaranteed by the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act, passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Murphy in early 2022.
After the Dobbs ruling, legislation protecting out-of-state patients who seek care in New Jersey was quickly enacted. However, these actions still leave major gaps in access for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, our immigrant neighbors, and people struggling to make ends meet.
There is much more to do in New Jersey to ensure that everyone – regardless of income, insurance coverage, or immigration status – can access the care they need to make personal decisions that are best for their lives. When everyone can do so, families thrive; and we build communities where each of us can participate with health, dignity, and equality.
The outrageous decision by the Supreme Court to strike down the constitutional right to abortion care will embolden politicians to ban abortion across the U.S., forcing people to travel hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles for care or remain pregnant against their will. Restrictions on abortion care have far reaching consequences, both deepening existing inequities and worsening health outcomes for pregnant people and people giving birth.
But we were built for this.
It is time to stand and support the people that have abortions and the medical professionals who provide this care every day. Together, we will help those seeking care in New Jersey, and we will fight to ensures everyone has access to abortion care – free from shame or outside interference.
I was so excited, I finally became pregnant after struggling with infertility. Our 12 week scan was perfect, blood work revealed low risk for major trisomies, and that we were having a girl! My husband and I were over the moon. The 20 week scan told an entirely other story - heart abnormalities, brain abnormalities, a small chest cavity - we knew we may have to consider termination. A week later we found out our daughter had triploidy - she was not compatible with life. At almost 22 weeks into our very much wanted pregnancy, we made the decision to have an abortion. It was the toughest decision we ever had to make, but it was the right one - done out of love and compassion.
New Jersey can join other states as a proactive leader and take immediate action to protect and meaningfully expand access to abortion.
To mitigate disruptions in abortion access, and remove barriers that continue to push abortion care out of reach for too many people, we urge leadership to take the following immediate actions:
Allocate state funds to support abortion providers and expand coverage for reproductive health care services:
Continue to support existing abortion providers in the areas of staffing, training, abortion-related infrastructure, and security.
Include abortion care within the reproductive health care services covered through the FY24 Budget for communities who are ineligible for health insurance due to their immigration status.
Take immediate legislative and regulatory action to remove ongoing barriers to reproductive health care and expand abortion access:
Pass the Reproductive Equity Act (S2918/A4350) to address financial and coverage barriers to abortion care.
Direct the Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) to take regulatory action to mandate that all state regulated health insurance policies provide coverage for abortion care with no out-of-pocket costs for the patient.
Deploy public education and community outreach efforts related to New Jersey’s reproductive rights and available health care services:
Enact legislation to establish a state website with information related to New Jersey’s reproductive rights, health coverage options, and information on reproductive health care providers (S3275/A4829)
Increase public awareness for existing reproductive services by investing in widespread, multilingual public education and community outreach efforts related to reproductive rights, health and services.
New Jersey must lead with compassion and put families' health, safety, and real-life needs first.
Abortion Justice Now.
To stay up to date on Thrive NJ’s efforts to advance abortion equity through legislation and to learn how you can get involved, fill out the form below.
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I was 20 years old, working retail and going to college, and with a guy who wasn't right for a long term relationship. I got my abortion very close to the cutoff date because it took me a while to get my paychecks. Plus it cost more later in the process, so it was very stressful. I can say without a doubt that it's the reason I have the life I do now, and I've never regretted it for a second. I have a husband (not the man I was with then), a career, and a full life, and I wouldn't have had any of this if I hadn't had access to the medical care I received.
Elizabeth C. Colonia