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  • Samson Omale

New Jersey Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Abortion Up To Moment of Birth

New Jersey Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Abortion Up To Moment of Birth
New Jersey Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Abortion Up To Moment of Birth

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

Gov. Phil Murphy, D-N.J., signed the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act alongside Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, the leadership of the state’s Senate and Assembly and Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson Thursday. The legislation will “explicitly guarantee, to every 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 health care professionals to provide pregnancy termination services in the State” and “advance comprehensive insurance coverage for reproductive care, including primary reproductive health care services, services to terminate a pregnancy, long-acting contraceptives, and long-term supplies of hormonal contraceptives, that enables the citizens of New Jersey to fully exercise their freedom of reproductive choice while recognizing the rights of certain religious employers to request an exemption from such coverage.”

In a statement, Murphy praised the “historic legislation” as a necessary precaution with the United States Supreme Court slated to rule on a case that could reverse or chip away at Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

“In New Jersey, we trust each individual person to make their reproductive choices for themselves,” he said. “With Roe v. Wade under attack, today’s historic legislation makes clear that New Jersey’s position in supporting the right to reproductive choice remains protected.”

McGill Johnson cheered 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 by the governor, legislative champions, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey, the Thrive New Jersey Coalition and more to ensure the state met the moment and secured access to essential health care in the state.”

While Murphy, McGill Johnson and other top Democrats in the state government applauded the passage of the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act, pro-life groups and religious leaders have lamented the development. Bishops leading the state’s five Roman Catholic dioceses as well as the Byzantine and Syriac Catholic dioceses released a joint statement condemning the state Legislature for approving such a bill.

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

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


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