What does it mean for abortion rights in New Jersey if Roe v. Wade is overturned?
A draft decision from the United States Supreme Court was leaked on Monday suggesting that the court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade – a court decision protecting the right to an abortion in the United States.
"We knew that the court might overturn Roe, but it's different to know that it might happen versus starting to see it in writing,” says Leslie Kantor, of the Rutgers School of Public Health.
Pro-life advocates were quick to comment on the potential decision.
“We’re cautiously optimistic. It is a draft. It’s been confirmed just a little while ago that it is a legitimate draft by Justice [John] Roberts. But it is not the final decision, so we urge the court to issue the final decision as soon as possible,” says Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life.
But the question on many people’s minds is if Roe v. Wade is overturned what would it mean for abortion in New Jersey?
LIVE BLOG: Roe v. Wade
"If the court takes this awful step, this decision will have no impact on New Jersey state law or the full right to reproductive freedom under our state law,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “This remains fully intact, because here in New Jersey, instead of hoping for the best, we prepared ourselves for the worst."
New Jersey enacted the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act in January. But while abortion is protected now in New Jersey, there is always a chance it could change.
"If the Legislature changes and the governor changes to a party that does not support abortion rights, could it change? Of course. So none of us should be complacent no matter where we live in this country,” says Kantor.
"I think what will change is people’s attitudes and they'll start to wake up and again as I mentioned you'll have a national conversation about it and it'll give us momentum here to change the laws and the way we would do that here is to change the makeup of the Legislature and the governor, which is something we certainly will work towards doing,” says Tasy.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it could result in 26 states immediately banning or limiting abortions.