NJ abortion rights advocates: Supreme Court decision puts US into the ‘Dark Ages’
After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Mississippi abortion case, abortion rights advocates across New Jersey are now planning “a modern Underground Railroad” for people from outside the state to get a safe abortion.
“It's really not an understatement to say this will throw the United States into the Dark Ages and absolutely undo our progress as a developed nation. I don't think we can call ourselves a developed nation if we roll back abortion care,” said S. Nadia Hussain, of Moms Rising.
Dr. Krysten Brandi, of Rutgers Medical School, says New Jersey should expect an influx of patients. That has her concerned.
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“Our health care system after COVID has been really strapped thin,” she says. “I'm really worried about the influx of patients and how that will overload the health care system here.”
Gov. Phil Murphy vowed during a news conference on Friday to use New Jersey's strong state laws codifying reproductive freedom to make the state a sanctuary for women seeking abortions.
Hussain says protections in New Jersey are only as strong as legislators in Trenton want them to be. A bill promoted by the governor but stalled in the Legislature would put $20 million into a reproductive access fund – but that money would go toward training and security at clinics, unlike New York Gov. Kathy Hochul who has proposed paying for travel and hotel rooms for out-of-state women seeking abortions.
She says some Republicans in Trenton, like Sen. Edward Durr, would be happy to roll back abortion rights if they are in power.
“We might feel safe now, but it's only a matter of time,” said Hussain.