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Reproductive Freedom Act serves to protect Roe v. Wade in New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy introduced the act to expand and protect abortion access amid an uncertain future.

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New Jersey introduced legislation on Oct. 2 protecting abortion rights in the state under Roe v. Wade. The Reproductive Freedom Act would protect those rights in the event the ruling is overturned federally.

That ruling could potentially come from the Supreme Court in the future given the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Ginsburg pioneered women’s rights on the Court and her death marked the possible end of a progressive era. Current Republican president, Donald Trump, has pledged to appoint a conservative replacement, with Amy Coney Barett as his chosen nominee for the seat.

With that being said, it poses a great danger for Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that ruled it is a women’s decision to have an abortion, which could be overturned if the majority of the Supreme Court justices are conservative. 

That is why Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, announced The Reproductive Freedom Act on Oct. 2.

“The Reproductive Freedom Act will remove barriers to reproductive health, as well as expand access to contraception while reaffirming choice. Together, we stand unwavering in our commitment to work towards reproductive freedom for all New Jerseyans,” said the Governor.

In the Reproductive Freedom Act, there are three bullet points of note:

  1. It explicitly ensures all New Jerseyans have the right to make their own personal health decisions when it comes to birth control and pregnancy-related care, including abortion. 
  2. It makes certain that financial barriers do not prevent anyone from making their own personal health decisions in regards to birth control and pregnancy-related care including abortion. 
  3. Finally, the bill expands access to birth control and pregnancy-related care including abortion by breaking down medically-unnecessary restrictions that only serve to block access to care right now. 

So far, other states have not been as swift to announce legislation protecting Roe V. Wade, but Democratic Nominee Joe Biden told NBC News on Oct. 5 that if the ruling on abortion was overturned his “only response” is to “pass legislation making Roe the law of the land.” 

However, the former Vice President did not explain how he would achieve the law if the ruling was overturned, as any legislation granting access would be challenged in Congress. Biden is likely hoping that if he wins the presidency, Democrats will own majorities in both the House and Senate.

President Trump also took to Twitter to spew inaccurate statements about Biden, falsely claiming he was favor of late-term abortion, up until birth and beyond. 

The year has been filled with uncertainty and the loss of RBG was another blow to women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ communities. While New Jersey residents can potentially let out a small sigh of relief, the rest of the country still grapples with the rollercoaster that is the U.S. government in the coming months.

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