New Jersey Governor Signs Bill Allowing Abortion Until Birth

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy |

Pro-life activists and religious leaders are criticizing the enactment of a New Jersey bill that will legalize abortion until the moment of birth.

Gov. Phil Murphy, D.N.J., signed the Reproductive Freedom of Choice Act Thursday alongside Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, the leadership of the State Senate and Assembly, and the President of Planned Parenthood, Alexis McGill Johnson. The legislation “will explicitly guarantee to each individual the fundamental right to reproductive autonomy, which includes the right to contraception, the right to terminate a pregnancy and the right to carry a pregnancy to term”.

Additionally, the measure will “enable all qualified medical professionals to provide pregnancy termination services in the state” and “advance comprehensive insurance coverage for reproductive care, including birth control services.” primary reproductive health care, pregnancy termination services, long-acting contraceptives, and long-term provision of hormonal contraceptives, which enables New Jersey citizens to fully exercise their reproductive freedom of choice while recognizing the right of certain religious employers to request an exemption from this coverage.

In a statement, Murphy hailed the “landmark legislation” as a necessary precaution, with the U.S. Supreme Court set to rule on a case that could overturn or undermine Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

“In New Jersey, we trust each person to make their own reproductive choices,” he said. “With Roe vs. Wade under attack, today’s landmark legislation makes it clear that New Jersey’s position in favor of reproductive choice remains protected.

McGill Johnson hailed the occasion as a “historic day for reproductive health in the Garden State” and “an important step forward for reproductive freedom.” She expressed gratitude for “the constant advocacy of the governor, legislative champions, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey, the Thrive New Jersey Coalition and more to ensure the state met the moment and secured the moment. access to essential health care in the state.

While Murphy, McGill Johnson and other senior Democrats in the state government applauded the passage of the Reproductive Freedom of Choice Act, pro-life groups and religious leaders lamented the development. The bishops leading the five Roman Catholic dioceses in the state as well as the Byzantine and Syriac Catholic dioceses issued a joint statement condemning the state legislature for approving such a bill.

“This law departs from fundamental Catholic teaching that all life is sacred from conception to natural death,” they wrote. “What is even more distressing is that the legal and ethical calculus that underlies this new legislation absolutely and directly extinguishes the human and moral identity of the unborn child. Perhaps the lawmakers who rushed through this law in the final moments of their tenure did not want citizens to fully understand its inhuman and deadly consequences.

New Jersey Right to Life, a state-based pro-life organization, warned that “due to the broad wording of this bill and the fact that there are no gestational limits anywhere in bill, this new law will allow abortions at any time during pregnancy, even if the baby is viable or full-term.

Additionally, the group expressed concern that “the law leaves the door open for a future bill to mandate abortion coverage in all health insurance plans by authorizing a study of the Department of Banking and Insurance to adopt policies by regulation to provide such coverage”. .”

“This includes an exclusion for a religious employer as long as they notify covered persons and potential covered persons and seek clearance from the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance. The law excludes religious employers from exemption for abortion coverage for the National Health Benefits Commission and the School Employees Health Benefits Commission.

Murphy’s signing of reproductive freedom comes two months after narrowly winning re-election against Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli in a state President Joe Biden carried by nearly 16 points in the 2020 presidential election. Earlier this week, the bill passed the state Senate in a 23-15 vote and the state assembly approved the legislation in a 45-24 vote.

The Reproductive Choice Act received no support from Republicans in either house, and only one Senate Democrat broke ranks by voting against it.

New Jersey’s efforts to pass a bill establishing a right to abortion, thereby codifying Roe vs. Wade in state law, date back to 2020, when former President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the Supreme Court. New Jersey is not the only state to pass an abortion bill derided by critics for allowing abortion up to the time of birth in recent years. Since 2019, New York, Rhode Island, Illinois and Massachusetts have adopted similar measures.

The push to codify Roe vs. Wade in law intensified after the Supreme Court allowed a six-week abortion ban in Texas to take effect as litigation continues. The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act last year, but the measure did not pass due to opposition in the equally divided Senate.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be contacted at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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