Pro-life activists vow to set limits on abortion in New Jersey now that Roe is done | Local News

Pro-choice activists have feared this day for decades, and pro-life activists feared it would never come.

On Friday, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade’s 1973 which legalized abortion nationwide, returning all control of the procedure to the states.

“I’ve been praying for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. It’s the most amazing day I’ve had in a very long time,” said Ethel Hermenau, 13-year-old pro-life activist from Galloway Township, director project for the South Jersey Outreach Chapter of LIFENET.

Hermenau said his organization and others will now turn to lobbying for restrictions on abortion in New Jersey, specifically to end late-term abortion.

Abortion remains legal in New Jersey with no explicit time limit because the Legislature passed Bill A6260/S49 in January after heated debate. Governor Phil Murphy signed it later that month.

New Jersey women are guaranteed the right to decide when and if they want to have children, and to access contraception, abortion and other reproductive health care to achieve pregnancy, without state interference.

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Hermenau said she and other activists will work to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (A305) that would stop abortion after 20 weeks gestation.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, R-Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, it was presented in January and sent to the Assembly’s Women and Children’s Committee.

“Sixteen or 17 states have already adopted it,” Hermenau said.

U.S. Representative Jeff Van Drew, R-2nd, who was elected a Democrat but switched parties in 2019 after voting against impeachment of President Donald Trump, said Friday the Supreme Court had done its job.

“The Supreme Court of the United States has a sacred responsibility to interpret the Constitution and uphold the founding principles of our nation without political interference, which is exactly what it did today,” Van Drew said. .

He recently said he considers himself pro-life, having been a pro-choice lawmaker for decades.

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“The integrity of the Court and its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade must be respected, and we must come together to reject the latest attempts by those who disagree with today’s decision to abolish or wrap up the Supreme Court,” Van Drew said.

Van Drew also called on Speaker Joe Biden and House Democrats to condemn angry pro-choice activists’ calls for a “night of rage” and to protect pro-life clinics from continued violence.

New Jersey Planned Parenthood Action Fund Vice President Kaitlyn Wojtowicz said Friday her organization would push for legislation (A4350/S2918) to create a $20 million reproductive health access fund for help women have abortions. It would also require government programs and insurers to cover abortion, among other provisions.

“This decision goes against the will of the people: 80% of Americans think abortion should be legal,” Wojtowicz said. “This decision will not stop us. We will rebuild and claim the freedom that is ours.”

Those on the pro-choice side celebrated the New Jersey law.

“Thank goodness we live in the state of New Jersey where Governor Murphy and legislative leaders codified Roe before this disastrous decision was made,” said Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman. “In anti-choice states, however, this decision will cost some women their lives, as they will be forced to undergo dangerous, unmedically supervised procedures to terminate a pregnancy.”

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“I knew it was a possibility, but I didn’t think it would come to this,” Ameena Walker, of Pleasantville, said while shopping Friday at Tanger Outlets The Walk in Atlantic City. She said she was extremely disappointed with the decision. “It’s a little scary to think about what might be implemented in the future.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Walker said the government has been trying to control citizens’ rights.

“Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve felt like I’m in a video game simulation and I can’t get out of the level,” Walker said.

Many Democrats and organizations have expressed anger and sadness over the decision.

“This is a sad day in America. This decision by an extremist faction of judges is unconscionable,” said Democratic congressional candidate Tim Alexander of Galloway Township. “The outright rejection of precedent and disregard for the protection of unlisted rights by the Fourth and Ninth Amendments is appalling.”

Alexander called on Congress to act immediately to protect the reproductive rights of women nationwide “and to prevent future attacks on our other rights that are now vulnerable.”

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The New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, also weighed in in its opposition to the decision, as did many other health and social groups.

“Today’s regressive decision disregards a half-century of precedent and moves our nation even further away from our founding ideals of personal freedom,” said a joint statement from the president of the New Jersey Education Association, Sean M. Spiller, Vice President Steve Beatty and Secretary-Treasurer Petal Robertson. .

“Reproductive justice is racial justice. … Already, black people and other people of color do not have equal access to health care, including abortion, prenatal and preventive care. Black women also experience higher rates of infant mortality and pregnancy-related deaths,” according to a statement from the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. “Today’s callous decision will only widen these racial disparities.

Suleiman said Democrats did not fight hard enough for President Barack Obama’s right to replace US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland. Scalia died on February 13, 2016, during Obama’s final year in office.

This allowed President Donald Trump to take three seats on the court, pushing him to a conservative majority.

“We sat idly by as the far right completely transformed the federal bench into an ultra-reactionary body,” Suleiman said. “As a national party, we have to start fighting back.”

Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, D-Camden, Burlington, said the court was showing a dangerous disrespect for precedent.

“In the past two days, the Court has denied women across the country the individual right to choose and struck down New York’s Concealed Carry Law, a common-sense policy designed to protect the public from gun violence. senseless,” Greenwald said. “These sweeping decisions undermine our American freedoms.”

Paul Monseliu, another visitor to Tanger Outlets The Walk on Friday, said New York’s abortion rulings and gun laws only made the country more divided.

“We need to bring the country together,” said Monseliu, who said the abortion ruling would have the biggest impact on those less fortunate. “The right to change your future is very important and should not be decided by a group of conservative men and Catholic churches.”

Monseliu said the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade would affect how he voted in the November election.

Hermenau and other pro-life activists plan to gather at the Statehouse Annex from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Writer Selena Vazquez contributed to this report.

JOURNALIST: Michelle Brunetti


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