Gov. Phil Murphy's signature on a bill requiring a state website on reproductive rights comes just two weeks before Election Day, when all 120 legislative seats are on the ballot. (Rich Hundley III/Governor’s Office)
People can find information about abortion laws and how to access reproductive health services on a new website after Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill into law Tuesday requiring the online resource.
“At a moment when far-right extremists across the country are waging a war on reproductive freedoms, it has never been more important for our citizens to be armed with the facts and resources they need to make informed decisions about their health,” Murphy said at the bill signing event at Glen Rock’s borough hall.
The website includes information on state and federal reproductive abortion rights and reproductive health care insurance requirements. It lists resources for health care providers, locations of health care services, and information on how to file a complaint for harassment or intimidation while attempting to obtain an abortion.
Murphy’s signature on the bill comes just two weeks before Election Day, when all 120 legislative seats are on the ballot. Democrats have highlighted abortion on the campaign trail, warning that if Republicans flip enough seats, the party could threaten reproductive rights in New Jersey.
Democrats hold a 25-15 majority in the Senate and a 46-34 majority in the Assembly.
During Tuesday’s bill signing event, Murphy also noted the $5 million for security upgrades for reproductive health care facilities and $5 million for the state to recruit and train more reproductive health care professionals included in the state budget he signed in June.
Murphy, a Democrat, slammed Sen. Tony Bucco (R-Morris) for telling the Star-Ledger that GOP control of the Statehouse could lead Republicans to ax taxpayer funding of abortions and laws allowing late-term abortions. Bucco is the Senate’s minority leader.
“The leader in the Senate of the Republican Party has said if they were to get the car keys in Trenton, they would restrict funding and they would restrict abortion access. That is their stated position. We’re not making this up,” he added.
In response to Murphy’s attacks, Bucco responded that abortion access is settled law in New Jersey and said Democrats are resorting to scare tactics to distract people from Murphy’s “failed progressive record.”
Murphy noted that his predecessor, Chris Christie, took away funding for women’s clinics, including Planned Parenthood, when he was governor. Murphy restored that funding in 2018 after he assumed office, a move he touted again Tuesday.
The governor was joined by North Jersey Democrats, including Passaic County Democrats Sen. Nellie Pou and Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, who sponsored the legislation signed Tuesday; abortion rights activists; and representatives from Planned Parenthood.
“I am incredibly thankful to live in a state that not only values women’s privacy, but takes critical steps like we are taking today to ensure full access to accurate, helpful information to women facing difficult health care decisions,” said Assemblywoman Lisa Swain (D-Bergen).
The new information hub can be accessed at nj.gov/reproductivehealth.
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