As leaks of the U.S. Supreme Court drafting a decision to overturn abortion protections surfaced Tuesday, many in New Jersey were left wondering what this meant for abortion laws in their state.
But even if Roe v. Wade — the 1973 landmark Supreme Court case that established protections for people seeking abortions and other reproductive procedures — is struck down, New Jersey will still allow for legal abortions.
In January, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act that codified a person’s right to abortion in New Jersey. And before that, New Jersey’s Board of Medical Examiners decided to eliminate unnecessary barriers to getting an abortion. Doing so gave the state protections against the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Close to 1 million abortions are performed in the United States each year. In 2019 — the most recent year statistics were available — more than 20,000 abortions were performed in New Jersey.
What is legal under the New Jersey abortion laws?
A pregnant person in New Jersey can get an abortion at any stage of their pregnancy.
There are two ways to get an abortion in New Jersey: in-clinic abortion and the abortion pill (commonly referred as medical abortion).
What is illegal under the New Jersey abortion laws?
Getting an abortion from a non-approved physician, hospital, or clinic.
Are abortion pills/medical abortions legal?
Yes. Both in-clinic abortion and medical abortions are legal in New Jersey.
Who can perform an abortion in New Jersey?
During the first trimester of a pregnancy, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, and certified nurse midwives and certified midwives are allowed to perform abortions.
After 14 weeks, only a physician with a license to practice medicine and surgery in New Jersey may perform abortions. Additionally after 14 weeks, abortions can be performed only in “licensed hospitals” or a “licensed ambulatory care facility.”
How old do you have to be to get an abortion in New Jersey?
A person can get an abortion at any age in New Jersey. People under 18 do not need to notify or get consent from parents or guardians to get an abortion.
Is there a wait time for scheduling an abortion and other considerations?
No. New Jersey does not have the restrictions on abortions that other states like Pennsylvania have. There is no wait time before you are allowed to get an abortion, state-mandated consultations, or limited access to public funds for getting an abortion.
How much does an abortion cost in New Jersey?
On average, Planned Parenthood estimates that abortions can cost up to $750, but the cost of abortions can range from $0 to more than $2,000 depending on how far along the pregnancy is, what health-care facility you visit or if your health insurance plan will cover the costs.
Does private insurance or Medicaid cover abortion costs in New Jersey?
Most insurance companies in New Jersey will cover costs of getting an abortion. However, the Affordable Healthcare Act does not require their health-care plans to cover the cost of abortions.
Medicaid also covers the cost of abortions for people who are New Jersey residents and meet income eligibility requirements.
Can you travel to New Jersey to get an abortion?
Yes. People from out of state can travel to New Jersey to get an abortion. In 2019, 1,309 out-of-state residents got an abortion in New Jersey.
In an interview with NJ Advance Media, Planned Parenthood’s vice president of public affairs said that New Jersey is and will continue to be a safe haven for people seeking abortion care.