New Jersey Family Planning League Releases Abortion Needs and Availability in New Jersey Report with Rutgers School of Public Health Faculty
Report identifies barriers to abortion services in New Jersey & highlights the need for the state to take a comprehensive approach to expanding access to reproductive health care services.
NEWARK, NJ – Today, the New Jersey Family Planning League (League) in partnership with Rutgers School of Public Health faculty, Laura Lindberg, released a report – “Abortion Needs and Availability in New Jersey”, a first of its kind in the State of New Jersey.
In the aftermath of the June 2022 US Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that eliminated the constitutional right to abortion established by Roe v. Wade, the League partnered with Lindberg to conduct an in-depth analysis of abortion access in New Jersey. The resulting report, Abortion Needs and Availability in New Jersey, examines the current landscape of abortion care in New Jersey and identifies strategies for expanding access to abortion services.
“This report demonstrates that while New Jersey is taking a comprehensive approach to support reproductive health care access, the shifting landscape of abortion access nationally affects us all,” said Rachel Baum, CEO and President of the League, “Everyone, regardless of their zip code, their race, their income, or their sexual orientation or gender identity, must have the freedom to make their own decisions about their body, their life, their future and their ability to participate in society with dignity and equality. Access to birth control, care to help plan for a healthy pregnancy and abortion care are all critical to making this happen.”
“New Jersey has been at the forefront of protecting abortion access, but this report highlights the ongoing need to support and strengthen abortion care not only for our state residents but also for those compelled to travel from out of state. New Jersey needs to address geographic disparities in abortion access, particularly in the southern part of the state, to comprehensively meet the diverse needs of individuals seeking reproductive healthcare” said Lindberg, who is a professor in the Department of Urban-Global Public Health at the Rutgers School of Public Health. “The New Jersey abortion providers we spoke with are dedicated to providing high-quality care to anyone who walks through their doors; we identified several areas that would help ensure this care is offered sustainably.”
Even before the Dobbs decision, New Jersey lawmakers were building additional protections into state law. Governor Murphy signed the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act in January 2022 which recognized existing state constitutional rights and codified reproductive rights into law. Since the Dobbs decision, the state has expanded access to reproductive health care services by allowing pharmacists to provide birth control without a prescription and they have expanded the pool of abortion providers by allowing midwives to perform early abortions.
After the devastating Dobbs decision in June 2022, New Jersey lawmakers made significant commitments to protect reproductive health care access through the state budget, legislation and regulatory protections. The FY23 and FY24 budgets provided funding for reproductive health initiatives to increase Medicaid rates, support facilities, security, clinical training, and expanded services for family planning and abortion providers. These funds are critical at a time when access to birth control and abortion are under attack.
The League is committed to providing access to quality family planning, abortion and related health services for all New Jerseyans who need them. Currently, the League manages funding to support a diverse network of 17 health provider agencies that operate 64 family planning service center sites in all 21 counties. Restoration of state funding and continued support at increased levels has enabled the League to improve access to state and federal funded Title X sites by recruiting 6 new provider agencies and 14 health center sites since 2020. In addition to managing and administering grant funds, the League also supports its provider agencies with training, technical assistance, regulatory guidance and compliance to ensure all health centers provide the highest quality of services.