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September 27, 2018

Contact: Casey Olesko 973-775-2781 / [email protected]

NJ Assembly Sends Clear Message: We Stand Up for Reproductive Rights

TRENTON, NJ – Today, the New Jersey State Assembly passed AR181 by a vote of 47-16-9. The resolution shows the Assembly’s commitment to reproductive health care access by officially supporting safe and legal abortion, as well as opposing President Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. We saw true leadership in the Assembly where legislators stood up proudly and made their voices heard on this issue, while the Senate failed to prioritize the health of New Jersey women and refused to vote on the identical resolution today. The New Jersey Senate let women down today and there is no doubt New Jerseyans will hold them accountable.

“New Jersey is a state that stands up for women, for sexual assault survivors, and for reproductive health care,” said Triste Brooks of Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey. “Today, as the country watched Dr. Christine Blasey Ford bravely testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegations of sexual assault against Judge Kavanaugh, it is clear how important it is to listen to women – something the Assembly proudly did today, but not the Senate.”

The resolution was necessary because of the intense attacks on reproductive health and rights across the country, which have escalated under the Trump-Pence administration. Efforts by the administration to dismantle the Title X program and cut off access to preventive family planning services across the county shows that reproductive health is at risk at the federal level. Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, has incorrectly referred to birth control as an “abortion-inducing drug” — signaling that abortion and birth control will be at risk if he is confirmed. Kavanaugh cannot be trusted to support women’s reproductive health, as he has proven throughout his career and during his nomination proceedings that he does not respect women’s rights to control their own bodies. Combined with the serious allegations of sexual violence, Kavanaugh clearly is not fit to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, the final arbiter of justice.

New Jersey, as a state, has made great strides in supporting women’s health care by restoring family planning funding and ensuring Medicaid coverage for all reproductive health care, including abortion and birth control. Yet on a day when issues of women’s bodily autonomy and rights were on center stage at a national level, and women across the country are counting on their leaders to uphold and respect the rights of women everywhere, the New Jersey Senate decided to sit quietly and avoid committing on record to supporting women’s rights and abortion access.

“With unprecedented attacks against women’s health, rights and lives, New Jersey needs to draw a line in the sand,” said Brooks. “We are proud that the Assembly answered that call and voted to support women’s access to the health care she needs – but we are deeply disappointed in the Senate Democrats’ desire to protect one another, instead of standing up to injustice.”

PPAFNJ thanks the sponsors of AR181, including prime sponsors Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, and Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez, as well as Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin for posting the bill today.


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