N.J. set to become haven for out-of-staters seeking abortions

Bill would ban extradition of anyone seeking or providing abortions in N.J.

By: - June 29, 2022 8:16 pm

A bill headed to Gov. Phil Murphy's desk would ban the extradition of people who get or perform abortions in New Jersey to states that criminalize the procedure. (Dana DiFilippo | New Jersey Monitor)

New Jersey is one step away from providing refuge to millions of people living in other states that have restricted abortion access in light of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

The Legislature approved a bill Wednesday that would ban the extradition of people who get or perform abortions in New Jersey to states that criminalize the procedure.

The bill passed the Senate 26-11 and the Assembly 47-16. Thirteen members of the Assembly abstained from voting. The votes were largely along party lines, with Sen. Jean Stanfield (R-Burlington) crossing the aisle to vote in favor. Sen. Fred Madden (D-Gloucester) did not vote on the bill. There was no debate.

“Everyone should be allowed to have protection and privacy when making decisions relating to their own health, and this legislation is an imperative measure to protect the rights of all individuals receiving these services in New Jersey,” Sen. Nia Gill (D-Essex) said in a statement after the bill’s passage.

The Legislature also passed a bill that would prohibit public agencies in the state from assisting in investigations in other states that criminalize abortion and bar abortion providers from releasing patient information to those states without written consent from the patient. It cleared the Senate 24-13 and passed the Assembly 47-16, with 13 abstentions.

Murphy on Twitter Wednesday night said he will sign both bills.

The measures were supported by reproductive rights advocates and pro-choice activists during committee hearings last week. Some anti-abortion critics spoke out against the bill that would ban extraditions of people seeking abortions, claiming it would lead to criminals bringing pregnant, underage victims to New Jersey for abortions.

In January, New Jersey lawmakers codified abortion rights in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision. New Jersey is one of 20 states where abortions are expected to remain legal.

An earlier version of this story should have said the bill banning public agencies from assisting in out-of-state abortion investigations passed both chambers of the Legislature.

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Sophie Nieto-Munoz
Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Sophie Nieto-Muñoz, a New Jersey native and former Trenton statehouse reporter for NJ.com, shined a spotlight on the state’s crumbling unemployment system and won several awards for investigative reporting from the New Jersey Press Association. She was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for her report on PetSmart's grooming practices, which was also recognized by the New York Press Club. Sophie speaks Spanish and is proud to connect to the Latinx community through her reporting.