The New Jersey Assembly Democrats have a strong record of upholding the right to reproductive choice. When radicals on the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, they struck down nearly 50 years of court precedent that has protected reproductive freedoms for generations of American citizens. The effects of this decision have been disastrous for women across the nation who live in states that have weakened access to critical care or made it illegal.
While legislators in states across the country pursued dangerous trigger laws to restrict access to important health care services, in New Jersey we took preemptive action to safeguard the right to reproductive choice and ensure our residents faced no uncertainty during a tumultuous time in our nation. The rights and liberties of our residents are of the utmost importance. That is why our caucus has introduced and advanced several bills—which are now law—to preserve and expand the protections our residents deserve.
Securing the Fundamental Right to Reproductive Choice
In January of 2022, New Jersey Assembly Democrats took action to codify the fundamental right to reproductive choice in state law. Six months later, when the Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and overruled Roe v. Wade, our residents continued to enjoy access to the full spectrum of health care.
Since then, we have continued our efforts to expand access to quality, affordable reproductive health care. In September of 2023, as a result of the same legislation that codified the right to choose, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance adopted new rules requiring comprehensive abortion coverage as a part of all health benefits plans regulated by the department. This reaffirmed our state’s dedication to upholding reproductive freedom and underscored the importance of accessible, comprehensive health care services.
A6260 Codifies constitutional right to freedom of reproductive choice. (P.L.2021, c.375.)
Protecting Those Who Travel to NJ to Receive Reproductive Health Care
As many states across the country implement near or total bans on abortion care, New Jersey has prepared to meet the rapidly growing reproductive health care needs of non-residents. Our state has emerged as a national leader in reproductive health care, acting as a sanctuary state for those in need.
Women deserve to access medical care without fear of prosecution. The Assembly Democrats have advanced legislation to prohibit anyone from being extradited to another state because of the reproductive health care services they obtained in New Jersey. We have also protected physicians from being targeted for delivering care to patients, along with the private medical information of patients from disclosure.
A3974 Prohibits extradition of individual from another state back to that state for actions related to conduct concerning reproductive health care services lawful in this State.
A3975 Concerns protections with respect to nondisclosure of certain patient information relating to reproductive healthcare services, and protecting access to services and procedures related to abortion for certain out-of-State persons.
Access to Contraception
All women deserve control over when, if, and how they start a family. Access to contraception is critical for avoiding unintended or mistimed pregnancies; however, not everyone can easily visit a doctor to get a prescription. The New Jersey Assembly Democrats have worked to break down barriers that have prevented women from accessing contraceptives, such as cost and the permissible prescribing period.
While many states have sought to restrict access to reproductive health care services and contraceptives, in New Jersey we have made it a priority to expand access, making it easier for women to obtain the best care possible.
A4698 Expands requirement of health insurers and Medicaid program to cover prescriptions for contraceptives for up to 12 months. (P.L.2021, c.376.)
AR190 Urges United States Supreme Court to protect freedom of reproductive choice with respect to use of and access to mifepristone.
A4149 Permits pharmacists to furnish self-administered hormonal contraceptives pursuant to a standing order, in accordance with protocols established by Board of Pharmacy and Board of Medical Examiners.
Funding for Reproductive Rights
Assembly Democrats have also provided key funding for reproductive health care and family planning services. Money allocated in the FY 2024 State Budget will help connect residents with service providers and fund critical facility upgrades.
Informational Website About Reproductive Rights
At a time when uncertainty about reproductive rights has become commonplace, the New Jersey Assembly Democrats have made easy access to information a priority. The Legislature advanced a bill to create a new website with information about the reproductive health protections of New Jersey residents. This will help raise awareness for the reproductive health care services our state has worked diligently to support and it will be a critical resource for residents for those who want more information about their rights.
A4829 Requires establishment of new State website with information on rights related to, and health benefits coverage for, reproductive health care services.