In NJ, both sides react and plan demonstrations after Roe v. Wade decision
Gov. Phil Murphy, most of the New Jersey congressional delegation and abortion advocates are outraged by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn its Roe v. Wade precedent that had protected abortion rights for decades.
The decision was the culmination of decades of efforts by abortion opponents and a conservative majority on the court that includes three justices appointed by former President Donald Trump.
Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central and Southern New Jersey spokeswoman Sarah Best told New Jersey 101.5 that their national legal team is reviewing the ruling to determine their next steps.
New Jersey Citizen Action is holdings rallies at Spiotta Park in South Orange, City Hall in New Brunswick and the Unitarian Universalist Church in Cherry Hill Friday evening all at 6 p.m.
Shifting the law
The main impact of the decision is that it shifts the legality of abortion to individual states. Gov. Phil Murphy said New Jersey recently strengthened its abortion laws after a draft of the decision was leaked and said the state will continue to protect women from the Garden State and anyone who comes for an abortion.
"In New Jersey, women will always have full autonomy over their own bodies and the right to make their own medical decisions," Murphy said in a statement.
The governor said that more must be done to secure a woman's access to reproductive healthcare.
Acting state Attorney General Matt Platkin blasted the decision as "dangerous" and "wrong" laying blame on the court's right wing majority.
"Today is a dark day for our country. But the fight to protect abortion rights is far from over and New Jersey stands ready to lead the fight," Platkin said in a statement.
Supporters of court's decision
Not all the New Jersey reaction was disappointed with the court's ruling. Leaders of the Catholic Church in New Jersey which oppose abortion was pleased with the ruling.
Cardinal Joseph Tobin of the Archdiocese of Newark said the decision recognized that "even the most helpless and dependent human beings have a right to life and possess inherent dignity and worth."
"Abortion is not healthcare. It is a disastrous attempt to create a false equivalency between the taking of innocent human life and the 'reproductive health' of women in our society. It results in inhuman and lethal consequences," Tobin said in his statement.
Trenton Diocese Bishop David O'Connell said the decision was the culmination of years of marches and arguments against abortions.
"Given the strident and unrelenting advocacy of those who have supported abortion over the years, it seemed an almost unreachable goal. Today, that goal has been achieved," O'Connell said in a statement.
The Bishop attacked the state's "most permissive abortion laws in the country" and said there is much work to be done to "end the scourge of abortion and any attack on human life."
NJ Right to Life plans a rally at the Statehouse Annex on Saturday at 11 a.m. in support of the ruling.
Democratic officials overwhelmingly against decision
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., called the ruling a "devastating and disastrous decision that will impact millions of American women and will forever remain a stain on our country’s history."
"There’s no other way to say it: this radical decision is a massive attack on reproductive rights and freedom. Abortion care is health care, period, and in the Senate we are going to fight back," U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., wrote on his Twitter account.
Rep. Donald Norcross, D-NJ 1st District, called the decision "disgraceful" that will especially harm poor and working-class women.
"Women’s health care decisions should be made by women in consultation with their doctors," Norcross said in a statement.
Rep. Frank Pallone, D-NJ 6th District, called the decision a "lurching step backwards" and called into question the court's ability to make decisions grounded in precedent.
“This is an unprecedented assault on reproductive health care, women’s ability to make their own health care decisions, and the constitutional right to privacy," Pallone said in a statement. "This decision will overturn decades of progress and impose an outdated, extremist ideology long pushed by the radical right but opposed by a majority of Americans."
Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. 5th District, said the decision was a "horrific breach of personal privacy" that endangers the life of a woman.
"We must always oppose any attempt by those in Washington or around the country to roll back the clock and stand between a woman, her doctor, and her faith, when making personal health care decisions."
The Supreme Court upended the lives of women in its "radical decision, according to Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J. 7th District.
"We will once again be living in a time when women risked their lives to obtain underground abortions," he said in a statement.
Rep. Alrio Sires, D-N.J. 8th District, accused the court of betraying women and stripping them of their right to bodily autonomy.
"This Court does not reflect the beliefs of the majority of Americans, & has thrown out decades of legal precedent. This decision is a disgrace to the Court & its legacy," Sires said on his Twitter account.
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J. 9th District, said the decision will have "catastrophic impacts on our nation both immediate and long-term. This partisan decision will directly endanger the health of millions of American women especially women of color and impoverished women."
He warned that 22 states are finalizing laws to criminalize a woman's control of her own body.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J. 11th District, said the decision was not conservative but radical and hoped the ruling would not be as extreme as she thought the leaked draft was.
"The court is rolling back a constitutional right, out of step with the majority of our country and almost 50 years of legal precedent," Sherill said in a statement.
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J. 12th District, said that other rights could also be endangered by the ruling.
"This is the first time in our nation's history that the Supreme Court has ruled to eliminate a right that it had previously protected. As Justice Thomas states in his concurring opinion, other rights could follow," Watson Coleman said.
Republicans Reps. Jeff Van Drew in the 2nd District and Chris Smith in the 4th District and Democratic Reps. Andy Kim in the 3rd and Donald Payne Jr. in the 10th had not commented by 1 p.m. on Friday.