Press release: Governor Murphy
Governor Phil Murphy today signed a bill (S-3275/A-4829) alongside members of his Administration, legislators, advocates, and public officials to launch a brand new website – the Reproductive Health Information Hub accessible at nj.gov/reproductivehealth – providing critical information on reproductive rights, access, and health care coverage across New Jersey. The Governor also highlighted forgivable loan awards for reproductive health care facility upgrades, the availability of funds for security upgrades, the recent implementation of a Medicaid rate increase for providers, and the rollout of an initiative to grow the State’s reproductive health care workforce.
“While access to reproductive health care is being limited and even eliminated in states throughout our country, New Jersey not only continues to protect this crucial freedom but is also expanding access to reproductive health care,” said Governor Murphy. “New Jersey’s Reproductive Health Information Hub will serve as a one-stop shop or anyone seeking information on reproductive health care in our State – from access to the health care services they need to the rights we are working diligently to protect. Paired with our other efforts to improve health care facilities, increase reimbursement rates for providers, and grow the reproductive health care workforce, New Jersey has been and will remain a safe haven for anyone seeking this care.”
“In New Jersey, we trust women to make informed decisions about their own reproductive health care,” said Lieutenant Governor Tahesha Way. “This new site is a comprehensive portal that will empower all those seeking resources and information about receiving reproductive health needs in our state.”
“As we continue to protect the fundamental right to reproductive health care in our state, it is important that those seeking care know their rights and how to access these services. The launch of the new Reproductive Health Information Hub will offer those seeking care a much-needed resource,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “Reproductive health care providers can continue to administer services with the assurance that our administration will protect them. As a safe haven state, we will continue to support our reproductive health care facilities, providers, and those interested in joining the field, so they in turn can operate at the highest level to aid those seeking care.”
The website – nj.gov/reproductivehealth – includes information on an individual’s rights under State law to: access emergency reproductive health care services, contraception, preventative reproductive health care services, and reproductive health care medications; make one’s own decisions about the use of contraception, sterilization, and whether to terminate or carry a pregnancy to term; and receive reproductive health care services regardless of insurance status.
The website also includes links to resources to help individuals access health insurance, information on verified reproductive health care providers, and information on how to file a complaint if their reproductive rights are violated. Providers are also able to access information about critical resources to help them serve their patients.
In addition to the launch of this website, the Governor also highlighted a number of other efforts the Administration has spearheaded to bolster reproductive health care in New Jersey, leading with the latest announcement of more than $963,000 in zero-percent interest, forgivable loans for two organizations – Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey and LivWell Healthcare – to support important reproductive health care facility upgrades. This builds upon previous loans awarded in Fiscal Year 2023 to reproductive health care facilities to support the purchase of medical equipment, information technology upgrades, the expansion of examination rooms, the purchase of a mobile service van, and more. The New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority (HCFFA) will review applications for upgrades at additional facilities at its next meeting.
Additionally, Governor Murphy highlighted:
- the full implementation of a Medicaid rate increase as of October 1 that will more fairly reimburse reproductive health care providers for their services and encourage the ongoing care of individuals regardless of income status or ability to pay;
- the use of $5 million in State funding to help create the ‘New Jersey Reproductive Training and Education Initiative’ – a partnership between the Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA), within the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, and Rutgers University to grow the pool of trained abortion providers to enhance the state’s ability to meet the increased demand for reproductive health services. Through this initiative, Rutgers University will integrate abortion care into training curricula for health professionals, and develop a new training site to expose learners to comprehensive abortion care and hands-on training; and
- the inclusion of around $5 million in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget to enable security upgrades for reproductive health care facilities in New Jersey. Applications for the next cycle of the Reproductive Health Security Grant Program are open through October 31.
“While some states are actively limiting access to reproductive health care, New Jersey, thanks to Governor Murphy and the Legislature, is focused on ensuring that its residents have access to safe, reliable care,” said Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. “The New Jersey Reproductive Training and Education Initiative, in particular, will expand the number of abortion providers to enhance our ability to meet the demands of New Jerseyans and others who travel to our state in search of the care being denied them elsewhere.”
“New Jersey is, and has been, a leader in protecting women’s reproductive health and rights. This website will provide critical information to help individuals make informed decisions about their health,” said Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Kaitlan Baston. “Improving access to reproductive health is a key priority for the Department and the Murphy Administration and is essential to achieving health equity and eliminating disparities.”
“Recognizing that access to the full range of safe reproductive health care services is central to healthy outcomes, the department has taken the necessary regulatory action to require comprehensive reproductive health care coverage among its regulated health insurance entities,” said Department of Banking and Insurance Acting Commissioner Justin Zimmerman. “Today marks another example of the Murphy Administration with the Legislature making New Jersey stronger and fairer. Through this newly established website, consumers can now find in one place clear information about health benefits coverage for reproductive care services in New Jersey, which will help eliminate barriers to these needed health services.”
“At a time when reproductive health care is under threat around the country, New Jersey continues to lead the way to expand access to reproductive health care, and protect women’s rights,” said Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman. “Reproductive health care is an essential part of a person’s health and well-being. That is why the Department of Human Services is proud to have increased Medicaid rates for family planning services by $10 million to ensure that women and families with low and moderate incomes have equal access to critical health care services. And this new reproductive health hub announced today will serve as another important resource for New Jersey families seeking information on reproductive rights, health coverage options and reproductive health care services available in the state.”
“NJOHSP supports Governor Murphy and New Jersey lawmakers as they look to respond to an evolving threat landscape with this latest legislative priority,” said New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) Director Laurie Doran. “Our agency’s role in administering grant funding that will assist in hardening facilities and mitigating cyber threats is an important one. Enhancing the preparedness of reproductive health care providers with essential resources will ultimately deter bad actors and make New Jersey communities safer.”
The legislation to establish this new website was sponsored by Senator Nellie Pou and Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, as well as Senate President Nicholas Scutari and Assembly members Verlina Reynolds-Jackson and Mila Jasey.
“It is important that women in New Jersey have a centralized source that informs them of their reproductive rights and reproductive health care services,” said Senate President Scutari. “The preventive services, counseling and medical care that is available to them will help safeguard their health and wellbeing.”
“When it comes to reproductive rights, services such as reproductive health care counseling, accessibility to care, and other supports are not negotiable,” said Senator Pou. “They remain a critical part of our health care infrastructure in New Jersey. This law will reinforce that commitment to reproductive health by establishing a statewide information hub and website that will become a reliable and vital source for families and individuals who have questions about their health care options.”
“The dramatic Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs case last year has brought critical questions regarding accessibility and costs of reproductive health care to the forefront, questions that continue to weigh on the minds of our residents,” said Senator Joseph Lagana. “The establishment of this statewide website will be of great help for families and residents considering their options going forward, and I’m glad to join Governor Murphy as he signs this important legislation into law. I will continue to work tirelessly to protect a woman’s right to choose and to guarantee affordable and accessible reproductive health care for all residents.”
“It’s important that we do everything in our power to uplift the health and well-being of New Jersey residents, especially in the reproductive health care space,” said Assemblywoman Sumter. “By putting critical information about the reproductive health care services and counseling in one place, we are providing a valuable resource for families in our state.”
“These resources will help our residents make informed decisions when it comes to their reproductive health care,” said Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson. “While states across the country are restricting access to reproductive health care services, in New Jersey we are empowering our residents by ensuring they understand their rights and can choose what is best for their families.”
“Access to information is a powerful thing,” said Assemblywoman Mila Jasey. “With this law, we are giving women and families in New Jersey the power to take their reproductive health into their own hands. I am proud that New Jersey continues to expand and improve the reproductive health services and resources available to our communities.”
“New Jersey has proudly preserved women’s rights to full autonomy over their own bodies, and providing a centralized hub of information is an impactful way that we can assist people in making deeply personal choices,” said Assemblywoman Lisa Swain. “By ensuring individuals have access to the resources needed to make informed decisions that best reflect their personal situations, we are further cementing New Jersey’s role as a leader in reproductive healthcare.”
“New Jersey continues to lead the nation in protecting women’s reproductive rights,” said Assemblyman Chris Tully. “Women facing and making family-planning decisions need access to every piece of reproductive health care information they can find, which is why the legislation signed today is so vitally important.”
“At a time when our reproductive freedoms are under attack across the country, ensuring that New Jerseyans have access to time-sensitive abortion resources and other reproductive health care is paramount,” said Sarah Fajardo, Policy Director of American Civil Liberties Union-New Jersey (ACLU-NJ). “We commend Senator Pou and Assembly member Sumter for their leadership in introducing S-3275/A-4829 to establish a central hub for information related to reproductive rights and services. We look forward to supporting efforts to ensure that this resource is available to all communities across New Jersey and reflects the language diversity of our state. We urge state lawmakers to continue their work to ensure that abortion care is not only legal, but accessible and affordable for all in New Jersey.”
“New Jersey is a state that champions reproductive freedom for all,” said Jackie Cornell, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey. “By creating a central source of factual information about abortion rights and access, the state is ensuring that New Jerseyans – and those forced to travel to our state due to draconian bans in their home states – are equipped with the resources they need to obtain the quality health care services they deserve. In a time where misinformation and fear are rampant – even here in New Jersey – having a state-run website with clear and factual information is a proactive step to support patients’ having bodily autonomy. This new website builds upon the Murphy administration and state legislature’s strong track record of boldly supporting New Jerseyans’ ability to make their own personal reproductive health care decisions.”
“We applaud Governor Murphy, Senate and Assembly Leadership and the bill sponsors for their efforts to ensure that all individuals have access to accurate and reliable information about reproductive health care services,” said Rachel Baum, President of the New Jersey Family Planning League. “During these difficult times, it is critical that we work in partnership with the state to provide information about and access to comprehensive quality family planning and abortion services for anyone who needs them. We look forward to continuing this work through ongoing efforts to engage with individuals in need in ways that are easy, accessible and confidential.”
“A website dedicated to reproductive health care services will move our state and their residents into the 21st century,” said Loretta Winters, President of the Gloucester County NAACP, and the NAACP NJ State, Women in the NAACP (WIN) Chair. “Access and inclusion are necessary ingredients for success when reaching out to our marginalized communities. I am excited about all the educational possibilities that this website will offer, and I will use it as a resource. As an advocate of women’s rights, I salute Governor Murphy and his team.”
“Bill S-3275 is not just a piece of legislation; it’s a beacon of progress, a testament of commitment to a future where women can make informed decisions for their reproductive health,” said Mayor Kristine Morieko, Borough of Glen Rock. “As a municipality with an all-female governing body, Glen Rock is proud to host this historic event, as we see first-hand the struggles of women to not only find medical care, but access to the laws and protections afforded by the State of NJ. Thank you Governor Murphy, Assemblywoman Sumter, and our own Assemblywoman Swain for having their finger on the pulse and for implementing not only the words of this law, but for securing and establishing the funding to implement this meaningful policy.”