New Jersey must protect access by passing the Reproductive Freedom Act NOW
National Organization for Women of New Jersey is alarmed by the U. S. Supreme Court’s announcement that it will hear a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade in the most threatening violation of judicial precedent regarding abortion care in nearly half a century. Yet, it is not surprising to reproductive rights activists in New Jersey and across the country — it is what we have been anticipating. This announcement makes it even more imperative that New Jersey protect access to abortion care by passing the Reproductive Freedom Act.
Now, we are seeing a decades-long anti-abortion strategy play out. The Mississippi law banning abortion care after 15 weeks of pregnancy is designed to rob women of their bodily autonomy and access to reproductive healthcare. By giving this case any attention, the Court is sending a dangerous message. If this conservative-leaning Court rules in favor of the Mississippi ban, Roe will fall.
Merrill Mezzacappa, Chair of NOW New Jersey’s Reproductive Rights Taskforce, noted, “Currently New Jersey courts provide greater constitutional protections than the U. S. Supreme Court on abortion, but it creates the same uncertainty that we have lived with at the federal level. Should we rely solely on them? We have the opportunity to pass comprehensive legislation, a statute that not only codifies the right but addresses equity and access in a way that our cases do not. There is no reason for Jerseyans to feel vulnerable as abortion rights sink around the country when our legislators can easily step up.”
NOW New Jersey and our network of activists will continue to fight for abortion care for all. We know that restrictions to abortion access and care are part of a larger structural system of oppression that denies all women, especially women of color, their rights. New Jersey has a long history of progressive values prioritizing the protection of women and families. NOW New Jersey calls upon our legislature to ensure that the reproductive rights of all in the state are secured by passing the Reproductive Freedom Act. The time for action is now, New Jerseyans cannot wait any longer.
About National Organization for Women of New Jersey (NOW-NJ)
The purpose of NOW-NJ is to take action through intersectional, anti-racist grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life.
For more information about NOW New Jersey and NOW NJ PAC, please visit www.nownj.org.
Download the press release here.