Trenton – Today the Senate approved legislation sponsored by Senator Nia Gill that would further protect abortion rights and safeguard those in New Jersey from other states’ laws restricting or banning abortion.
“Last week’s Supreme Court decision was a devastating blow to millions of individuals throughout the country, putting their right to make their own health decisions in jeopardy,” said Senator Gill (D-Essex/Passaic). “While the right for any individual to receive an abortion remains protected under New Jersey law, states around the nation, such as Texas and Missouri, have or are considering laws that would essentially criminalize certain reproductive care. Everyone should be allowed to have protection and privacy when making decisions relating to their own health, and this legislation is an imperative measure to protect the rights of all individuals receiving these services in New Jersey.”
The first bill, S-2633, would bar a medical provider from disclosing certain communications or information about a patient seeking reproductive health services unless the patient or their representative explicitly consents to the disclosure. The bill would also bar a public entity in the State from providing any information or expending any resources in furtherance of any interstate investigation or proceeding seeking to impose liability for the provision of reproductive health services.
Under the bill, ‘Reproductive health services’ would include all medical, surgical, counseling, or referral services relating to the human reproductive system, including services relating to pregnancy, contraception, or termination of a pregnancy.
The second bill, S-2642, would prohibit the extradition of an individual to from another state back to that state for actions related to conduct concerning reproductive health care services lawfully available or provided in this State. Under the “New Jersey Uniform Criminal Extradition Law,” the Governor is permitted to surrender any person charged with committing a crime back to their home state. This bill would restrict the Governor’s authority to extradite when a person is charged with receiving or providing reproductive health care services that are permitted in New Jersey, and the person was not in the state seeking the extradition when the alleged crime occurred and is not fleeing that state.
“Our state has a duty to defend those engaging in their reproductive rights under New Jersey State law from punitive out-of-state restrictions on their freedoms,” said Senator Gill. “We must act immediately to ensure the right to choose is a sacred right for all in this state.”
The Senate approved the bills by a vote of 24-13 and 26-11 respectively.