New Jersey’s Catholic Bishops Slam Murphy’s Latest Abortion Plan

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TRENTON, NJ – Last week, in light of the leak of a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to turn abortion rights over to the states, Governor Phil Murphy doubled down on his commitment to keeping abortions legal in New Jersey.

Murphy’s administration issued a swift statement to combat the federal court’s decision.

“With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade – a decision that would have significant consequences for reproductive rights throughout the country – Governor Phil Murphy announced renewed efforts to secure abortion rights and bolster access to reproductive health care in New Jersey,” Murphy said. “Alongside partners in the Legislature, the Governor announced legislation to protect and expand coverage for reproductive health care, and protect medical providers and patients who provide or receive abortion care in New Jersey from legal retaliation by states who have outlawed or restricted abortion.”

The Newark Archdiocese of the Catholic Church issued a statement condemning Murphy, who is also a member of the Catholic Church.

“The Catholic Bishops of New Jersey join to express our disappointment and outrage over Governor Murphy’s announcement regarding proposed legislation to expand access to abortion in New Jersey, an act that by its very nature terminates human life,” the Bishops said. “If enacted, this legislation would mandate health insurance coverage for abortions, codify regulations that permit non-physicians to perform abortions; and create a public fund that dedicates taxpayer money to pay for abortions. Ironically, New Jersey already has some of the most permissive abortion laws in the United States and continues to provide abortion providers tens of millions of dollars in public funds to perform these services.”

“Revoking the fundamental right to abortion is dangerous and reprehensible, yet the U.S. Supreme Court is nevertheless prepared to proceed with this plan,” said Governor Murphy. “Alongside our partners in the Legislature, my Administration has prepared for this eventuality by enshrining the right to reproductive choice into New Jersey law. We refuse to go backwards on this critical issue and, today, our state moves forward in working to secure reproductive rights and ensure access to the reproductive health care every woman deserves.”

According to the church, New Jersey continues to rank among the top three states in annual abortion procedures nationwide.

“For these reasons it is incomprehensible to force health insurance providers in New Jersey to cover 100 percent of the cost to expand access to these abhorrent services,” the Catholic Church said. “This proposed legislation is a direct attack on the dignity and sanctity of life and is further evidence that we have failed as a society when a mother feels her only option is to end the life of her child. For our part, the Catholic Church is committed to opposing this legislation, but more importantly we stand ready to broaden and increase awareness about the abundant resources and programs we offer from pregnancy and foster care centers to clothing, food, housing services, adoption agencies, family resource centers, and national programs such as Walking with Moms in Need. We promise to assist and stand by every mother and family facing a difficult and unplanned pregnancy.”

The active violence nationwide against pro-rights groups, including the Catholic Church has made the radar of Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy who said he is now concerned about possible attacks against Catholic churches and members of the church in light of recent events. Last week, the left promise a ‘Summer of Rage’, which could include widespread violence against the Catholic Church.

Related: Ocean County Sheriff Concerned About Catholics.

“Right now we have some concerns with the Catholic Church with the abortion issue,” Mastronardy said.

In response to questions about a heightened level of security after it was made known that the Buffalo mass shooting suspect identified the Jewish community in Northern Ocean County, Mastronardy hinted about the security and safety of Catholic churches in the county.

In January, Murphy signed historic legislation he had championed alongside legislative supporters, including former Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, to protect the constitutional right to freedom of reproductive choice in New Jersey. That legislation codified reproductive rights into state law, including the right to access contraception and the right to terminate a pregnancy. The legislation announced today reintroduces aspects of the original bill draft that were not included in the final act signed into law.