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To: Interested Parties

From: Casey Olesko, Communications Director, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of NJ

RE: Comparing Murphy and Ciattarelli’s Record on Reproductive Rights

Date: September 27, 2021


On Tuesday night, Governor Phil Murphy and Jack Ciattarelli will face off in the first debate of the 2021 gubernatorial election. One topic that may come up is the two candidates’ support - or lack thereof - for reproductive rights. Governor Phil Murphy has an established record of supporting efforts to protect and expand access to reproductive health care, while Ciattarelli has opposed efforts to ensure New Jerseyans can get the health care they need, regardless of income or insurance status. 

Right now, access to abortion is getting pushed further out of reach across the country. States like Texas are enacting extraordinarily restrictive bans on abortion, eliminating access to care overnight. The Supreme Court is gearing up to hear a case in December that could overturn or render meaningless 50 years of precedent under Roe v. Wade. It’s never been more clear that New Jersey needs a leader who will stand up for New Jerseyans who need affordable, time-sensitive care.


Governor Phil Murphy's Record on Reproductive Rights

  • Took immediate action to restore much-needed funding for family planning services: After eight years of zero funding for New Jersey’s family planning providers, the very first bill Governor Murphy signed after taking office was a bill to provide funding for services like lifesaving cancer screenings, affordable birth control, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

  • Expanded Medicaid eligibility for reproductive health care services, ensuring that more New Jerseyans can get these essential health services with reduced financial barriers.

  • Stood up to the Trump administration and protected access to care at Planned Parenthood and other family planning providers: After the Trump-Pence administration enacted a new rule for the federal Title X family planning program that gagged providers from sharing information about the full range of pregnancy options with their patients - a medically-unethical restriction that interfered with the provider-patient relationship - providers like Planned Parenthood were forced to exit the program, rather than subject their patients to anything less than the highest medical standards and the information needed to make the best medical decisions. But Governor Murphy stepped up and provided emergency funding for those providers in New Jersey, to ensure that no one would go without the care they need.

  • Committed to protecting and expanding abortion access in the face of increasing restrictions across the country: The Reproductive Freedom Act was introduced in October 2020 - almost one year ago exactly - with the full backing of Governor Murphy. This bill expands and protects access to abortion in New Jersey and ensures that the right to an abortion is enshrned in state law. The bill also removes financial barriers for abortion by requiring insurance coverage of birth control and abortion and by providing coverage for family planning and abortion to individuals who cannot currently access Medicaid or other benefits.

  • With the First Lady, launched Nurture NJ to focus and address Black maternal mortality and improve maternal health outcomes: NJ has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the nation and the widest racial disparity in maternal mortality. Black women are five times more likely to die due to pregnancy complications than a white mother and a Black baby is three times more likely to die in her first year of life than a white baby. First Lady Tammy Murphy is heading a multi-agency, multi-pronged approach to improve maternal health outcomes and to reduce the disparity in black maternal mortality in NJ.

  • Supported the implementation of updated standards for sex education taught in New Jersey schools: In June 2020, the NJ Board of Education approved the revision of core education standards that would enhance and expand the requirements of sex ed taught in NJ schools. The new standards are more inclusive and comprehensive than the previous standards, and ensure that age- and developmentally-appropriate information is taught to our state’s young people.


Jack Ciattarelli’s Record on Reproductive Rights

  • Repeatedly voted against vital funding for reproductive health services: 

    • 2012 - S788/A3204 - to restore family planning funding - voted no

    • 2015 - A3672 - to restore family planning funding - voted no

    • 2015 - A4604 - to expand Medicaid eligibility for family planning - voted no

    • 2016 - A3492 - to restore family planning funding - voted no

    • 2016 - S1017/A1963 - to expand Medicaid eligibility for family planning - voted no

    • 2016 - A22977 - to approve birth control prescriptions for 12 months at a time - voted no

    • 2017 - A3492 - to override Governor Christie’s veto - voted no

  • Opposes the Reproductive Freedom Act, despite widespread support by more than two-thirds of New Jerseyans. Ciattarelli claims he opposes the restrictions in Texas - but then why won’t he support the Reproductive Freedom Act, which protects the rights of New Jerseyans to make their own personal health care decisions?



Paid for by Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey (PPAFNJ), 196 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960. This expenditure was not made with the cooperation or prior consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate, or person or committee acting on behalf of the candidate. PPAFNJ is a 501(c)4 organization. Contributions are not tax-deductible as a charitable contribution or a business expense. The first ten dollars of any donation qualifies you for annual membership.


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