With abortion expected to become illegal or heavily restricted in about half of all states now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, Governor Phil Murphy signed two bills to protect individuals who receive and provide reproductive health care services in New Jersey.
The legislation establishes protections for patients and providers. For patients, the legislation helps ensure residents of other states who seek reproductive health care in New Jersey can access confidential care without fear of prosecution. For providers, the legislation insulates healthcare practitioners from New Jersey-initiated disciplinary actions based on the provision of reproductive health care, including abortion, that is legal in New Jersey.
The first bill (A-3975/S-2633) would generally prevent the disclosure of a patient’s medical records related to reproductive health care without their consent in any civil, probate, legislative or administrative proceeding. It would also prohibit public entities and employees from cooperating with interstate investigations aiming to hold someone liable for seeking, receiving, facilitating, or providing reproductive health care services that are legal in New Jersey.
It would further protect providers by prohibiting New Jersey licensing boards from suspending, revoking, or refusing to renew the license or registration of a professional based solely on their involvement in the provision of reproductive health care services.
The second bill (A-3974/S-2642) would prevent the extradition of an individual within New Jersey to another state for receiving, providing, or facilitating reproductive health care services that are legal in New Jersey.
Primary sponsors of both bills include Senators Nia Gill, Nellie Pou, and Gordon Johnson, and Assembly members Lisa Swain, Mila Jasey, and Raj Mukherji.
“While others throughout the country are revoking a woman’s right to reproductive freedom, New Jersey will continue to defend this fundamental right in our state,” said Governor Murphy. “By bolstering protections against potential repercussions for both health care professionals and patients, we are sending a message to all who seek or provide reproductive health care within our borders that we welcome and support you. These laws represent our commitment to standing by a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her body, and will serve to make our state a beacon of freedom to every woman in America.”