Op-Ed By Marie Tasy
In the last few weeks, we have heard a constant, unrelenting, and fanatical drumbeat about abortion. I call it fanatical because what Governor Murphy and his companions in the legislature don’t want you to know is that they abused the legislative process and engaged in heavy handed and unscrupulous backroom deals to get legislation passed and signed into law. Recent polling shows that this legislation is NOT supported by the majority of NJ voters.
The law purports to codify the constitutional right to freedom of reproductive choice and the majority of NJ voters are either (a) not aware of the law’s passage or (b) not informed about how extreme the law actually is. That’s because Murphy and his party leaders deprived NJ citizens from having input on this proposed law. In fact, it passed at breakneck speed in the last lame duck session.
It’s important to note that the lame duck session takes place right after a November election and ends on the second Tuesday in January, when the new legislature is sworn into office. It also happens to occur during the holiday season when most individuals are preoccupied with the season’s festivities and not focused on what’s going on in Trenton. The required five-day notice for meetings was not provided to the public before this legislation was scheduled for a hearing. This is in direct violation of the Rules of the Senate and Assembly which states that notice shall be distributed to the public at least 5 state working days prior to the meeting or public hearing except in the case of an emergency. Members of legislative committees who were against the bill were told to stay home and replaced by members who agreed to vote to support the legislation.
So what did the law actually do? Contrary to its title, it was not a codification of abortion law but a robust expansion of it.
It enshrines into law abortions up to the moment of birth, including partial birth abortions and other late term abortion procedures for residents and non-residents. That’s right – abortions up to the moment of birth are legal in New Jersey whether you support it or not. Although clearly unconstitutional, the law also sought to restrain any future legislatures from passing any historically popular, common sense laws like parental notification of a minor’s abortion even though a recent poll shows 70% of NJ voters support such a law. It also invalidated New Jersey’s 1974 Conscience Clause law for health care workers.
A few days after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, Bill A3975 was fast-tracked and signed into law. The public was once again deliberately deprived of sufficient notice to weigh in. The language of the bill protects anyone who travels to NJ to obtain, procure, provide, facilitate an abortion, and prevents law enforcement from assisting any interstate investigation regarding abortion that may be against the law in another state. The effect of A3975 is that sex traffickers, sexual predators and other criminals who take their victims to NJ for an abortion will be granted immunity from prosecution.
Abortion groups now have their sights set on legislation that will further expand abortion in NJ. The bill is currently pending in the legislature. Among other provisions, it will result in an increase in health care premiums because it will mandate in law that state sponsored health insurance plans cover abortions up to the moment of birth with no co-pays, no deductibles, and no co-insurance. It will also use tax dollars to pay for abortions up to birth for uninsured and non-residents, making all NJ taxpayers complicit in the performance of full-term abortions. In addition, it will enshrine in law that non-physicians can perform abortions in an office setting, increase taxpayer funding annually to the abortion industry and grant special and unprecedented rights and privileges to the abortion industry and its staff.
From day one, Governor Murphy and his party leaders have done the bidding of the greedy abortion industry and allowed them to write these radically dangerous abortion laws and dictate public policy, with no regard for women’s lives, health, or safety. It’s all about satisfying their political supporters. That is the sad reality regarding the current affairs of our state. What’s more, Murphy and party leaders have the audacity to boast that they have provided at least $164M of our tax dollars to Planned Parenthood’s abortion business from the annual state budget and have vowed to increase their funding every year as long as they remain in power. Planned Parenthood, in turn, has spent $240,000 in this election cycle to help those pro-abortion legislators who vote to fund them get elected.
Whether the issue is protecting parental rights to prevent the sexualization of children in public schools or abortion, Murphy and his party have shown they will abuse their power and do anything and everything to advance their radical anti-parent, anti-life agenda regardless of where the NJ electorate stands on these issues.
As we approach the November 7th election, NJ voters need to ask themselves the following questions. Are these the people you want to run your state? The Democrat party has been in control of the legislative process for nearly 22 years. Isn’t it time for a change?
Marie Tasy is the executive director of New Jersey Right to Life.