The New Jersey state legislature is poised to vote Monday on a bill that would further strengthen laws allowing citizens to end the lives of unborn children.
While the bill has backing from majority leadership in both houses and Governor Phil Murphy, its fate remains unknown as several legislators have yet to announce whether they will support the measure in a floor vote — some out of moral objections and others feeling that the present text does not go far enough.
In recent years, as more conservative leaning justices were appointed to the Supreme Court during the Trump administration, several Democratic controlled states have moved to broaden legality and access to procedures that end the lives of the unborn. New York and Illinois have already enacted such measures, and California is presently debating a similar bill.
As the Supreme Court is presently weighing a case that could overturn or roll back the 1973 Roe v. Wade precedent, Democrats in several states have sought out ways to prepare for a decision that might grant increased protections to unborn children.
The present bill would codify the “right” to undergo the procedures in New Jersey. It would also create a committee to study whether it is necessary for the state to mandate insurances to cover the procedures. Should the committee respond in the positive and such a mandate in enacted, the bill stipulates that employers who object to the procedures on religious grounds could file for an exemption.
According to media reports, several Democrats, including Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera of Camden and Assemblyman Gary Schaer of Passaic, who voted to release the bill from committee did not announce how they planned to vote should the measure be brought to the floor for passage.
Other lawmakers complained that the bill has been handled in a rushed matter, with leaders attempting to push the measure through before the end of the legislative session this week.
Opponents of the bill fear that it would make the procedures more frequent in New Jersey.
Data shows that under present laws, New Jersey already leads the nation as the state where more of the procedures occur than any other.
In testimony before the Assembly committee, Marie Tasy, of New Jersey Right to Life was quoted by NJ Advance as asking, “Why do we want to have more?”