As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Jan. 22, we must remember that complacency is the enemy of this epic reproductive rights victory. The truth is our hard-fought reproductive rights are at risk.
The relentless efforts of New Jersey state legislatures continue to threaten and chip away at the core rights affirmed by Roe v. Wade. Invisible barriers including fewer providers, increased regulations, and restrictions on insurance carriers have been enacted to steadily erode the integrity of the law. As president of the National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section, I am proud to say that our organization has long been committed to protecting every woman’s right to access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including safe, legal abortion care. While we stand united as fierce reproductive rights advocates, we are painfully aware of the grim reality. In 2010, New Jersey completely eliminated the state budget line that allocated $7.4 million for basic reproductive health-care services, leaving our state ranked a shameful 42nd out of 50 states in family planning funding. Further, nearly one-quarter of New Jersey counties have no abortion provider at all. The bottom line is restrictions on access to abortion are unjust and dangerous. They endanger women’s health, restrict women’s rights, and diminish religious freedom.
I implore fellow NJ residents to resist falling into a false sense of security when it comes to Roe v. Wade. Now is the time for action, not complacency, to ensure our loved ones can enjoy the benefits of Roe v. Wade for years to come.
National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section