Source: North Jersey.com
Abortion providers in New Jersey are prepared to help pregnant people from other states if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Roe v. Wade decision and allows states to restrict or ban such services. Over the last year, the state has taken steps to protect and expand access to abortion.
A few people from Texas already have received abortions in New Jersey, in the wake of that state’s law prohibiting abortions after six weeks, providers report. In 2019, more than 1,300 out-of-state residents received abortions in New Jersey, according to the latest data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That number is expected to grow.
Thirteen states have laws already on the books severely limiting access to abortion, while 13 others are poised to enact such laws. As a result, nearly half of women United States could lose access to abortion. But New Jersey has taken the opposite approach — expanding abortion access by increasing the types of providers who can perform the procedure.
Within the state, abortion pills can be prescribed via telemedicine. And private groups are helping to pay for travel, accommodation and medical costs, when necessary, for pregnant people seeking to terminate a pregnancy.
“We will get an influx from other states,” said Dr. Glenmarie Matthews, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive health at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and director of the Reproductive Choice Program at New Jersey Medical School. A woman from Texas recently called her office to ask the price of an abortion, she said.
Dr. Glenmarie Matthews, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive health at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and director of the Reproductive Choice Program at New Jersey Medical School.
Matthews also said the atmosphere among her colleagues was charged after Politico published a leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that affirmed the constitutional right to abortion nationwide.
The Supreme Court said Tuesday that the leaked draft overturning Roe, written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., was authentic, but that it did not represent a final decision by the court or the final position of any justice. A decision is expected by late June.
“We’re trying to figure out what actions we can take,” Matthews said, “and how use our voices to not let this [decision] move forward.”
New Jersey cemented the right to reproductive choice, including pregnancy termination, in a state law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on Jan. 13. The act was passed in anticipation that the new majority on the Supreme Court would overturn Roe and allow states to set their own abortion policies.