By Dave Andrusko
Fulfilling a campaign promise, pro-abortion New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the “Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act” misleadingly labeled a “codification of Roe.” In fact, as John Lavenburg explained, New Jersey joins “Oregon and Vermont as the only three states with laws that protect abortion rights throughout a pregnancy, along with Washington D.C. Laws in 12 other states – California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island and Washington – protect abortion rights prior to viability, at around 24 weeks.”
Not only does the bill affirm “the fundamental right of reproductive autonomy,” while not requiring health insurers to cover abortions at no cost out of pocket, it does “allow for the possibility of the state to require insurers to cover abortions if the Department of Banking and Insurance deems it necessary,” according to Dustin Racioppi.
The bill also allows “all qualified health care professionals” to perform abortions. That includes advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, certified nurse midwives and certified midwives.
Furthermore, under the guise of “protecting abortion rights,” the bill “explicitly guarantee to every individual present in the state, including but not limited to, an individual who is under state control or supervision to have 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.” Translated, “Protect abortion rights” means abortion on demand.
In a statement, the state’s seven New Jersey prelates said the law “forthrightly extinguishes the human and moral identity of the unborn child.”
“We have failed as a society when a response to any pregnancy is fear rather than joy,” the prelates said. “Sadly, too often this fear is born out of the mother’s uncertainty that she will not be able to provide for herself and her child the resources necessary to live a flourishing life.”
“We must do better,” the statement continued. “Therefore, we urge all Catholics and people of good will to actively participate in breaking down the economic, employment, social, racial, and emotional barriers that lead mothers into thinking abortion is a better option than life.”