Frequently Asked Questions
Is abortion still legal in New Jersey?
Yes, thanks to the diligence and hard work of NOW-NJ and other women’s groups for several years, the NJ Legislature and Governor Murphy have codified [put into law) protections that Roe vs. Wade used to provide for the country. The Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act enables New Jersey women to get abortions as before. Hopefully, other states will use our state as a model and pass similar laws. The U.S. Congress is trying to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act which would provide those protections for the nation, but Republican Senators are opposed to it.
What do the abortion laws in New Jersey cover?
You can get an abortion in one of two ways in New Jersey – either at a clinic or by taking a pill, known as medical abortion. Either method can be done at any stage in a woman’s pregnancy.
Who can do an abortion?
In the first trimester, abortions can be performed by physician assistants, certified midwives, certified nurse midwives, or advance practice nurses. After 14 weeks, only a doctor licensed to practice medicine and surgery can perform abortions. In addition, at this stage, abortions can only be done in licensed hospitals or licensed ambulatory care facilities.
Are there any age requirements to get an abortion?
While a person of any age can get an abortion in NJ, if they are under 18, they must inform their parents or guardians that they are pregnant. However, they do not need to get consent from their parent or guardian to get an abortion.
Do I need to wait before I schedule an abortion?
No. Unlike states such as Pennsylvania, NJ does not require a wait time before a patient gets an abortion. Also, access to public funds to get an abortion is not limited.
How much does an abortion cost?
An abortion can cost between $500 and $900. The cost of abortion can vary depending on the state or health center where you get care; whether you can use health insurance (private or government insurance); and how far into a pregnancy you are. Abortion funds may also offer help with transportation, lodging, childcare, and other costs that could keep someone from getting an abortion.
Will health insurance or Medicaid pay for my abortion?
Most private New Jersey insurance companies pay for abortions. But the Affordable Healthcare Act (or Obamacare) doesn’t require their healthcare plans to do so. Medicaid covers the cost of abortions for New Jersey residents who meet income eligibility requirements.
Can I go to New Jersey to get an abortion?
Yes, people from other states can go to New Jersey to get an abortion.
How does the abortion pill work?
The abortion pill is taken orally and/or vaginally. It requires two medications. The first one is mifepristone which is a hormone blocker, taken first. The second is misoprostol, taken a day or two later, which causes contractions that empties a women’s uterus. If used within eight weeks or the first day of a women’s last period, the pills are 94%-98% effective. The procedure does not require a visit to a doctor’s office.
How frequently is the abortion pill used?
More than half of all terminated pregnancies occur through medication abortions.
How can I get the abortion pill?
New Jersey (and PA) allow people to get abortion pills prescribed by a medical provider through the mail. While Pennsylvania patients must consult a certified abortion provider 24 hours before they can be prescribed the medication, New Jersey does not restrict obtaining prescriptions for the drugs virtually or ordering them through the mail. Federal rules require at least an online consultation to get a prescription. Trained prescribers and pharmacies providing the drugs have to be certified. Other states are more restrictive and the pills aren’t legal everywhere.
What can I do?
Make a donation for food, transportation, child care or other needs of women coming from other states to get abortions. Contribute online to Cherry Hill Women’s Center’s Abortion Access Fund. Or send a check payable to Cherry Hill Women’s Center to: Roxanne Sutocky, Cherry Hill Women’s Center, 601 Chapel Ave, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034. Or offer an extra bedroom or couch for an out-of-state woman to sleep on.
Volunteer to be a Clinic Escort on Saturday mornings or weekdays at the Cherry Hill Women’s Center (mandatory training provided by Roxanne Sutocky above). Escorts walk patients from their car to the front door of the clinic and tell them that the protestors aren’t allowed to get near them or hurt them. This provides a great deal of comfort and security to the patients, a service for which they are extremely grateful.
Work for candidates up and down the ballot who are for choice. Canvas, make phone calls, text, donate, register voters. To write postcards for candidates, email South Jersey NOW Indivisible or Progressive Turnout Project.
Tell your Congressperson to support and lobby their colleagues for the Women’s Health Protection Act. Write letters, call, email, text, whatever.
Attend demonstrations. Or, if you can’t, make protest signs for those who can attend. Some ideas:
- America: Where Guns Have More Rights Than Women
- I Have Fewer Rights Than My Grandma
- At the Ballot Box, We Can Elect Leaders Who Will Codify Roe. Vote For Them.
- Photo of woman face down in pool of blood after self-induced abortion that ran in 1973 Ms. Magazine. (Woman was Gerri Santoro; Ms. reporter was Roberta Brandes Grantz).
- Don’t Like Abortion? Ignore Them Like You Do School Shootings.
- Banning Abortion Doesn’t Save Babies. It Kills Women.
- AbortionFinder.org features the most comprehensive directory of trusted (and verified) abortion service providers in the United States.
- INeedAnA.com – locate nearest abortion clinic, and what the waiting periods and other restrictions are, if faced with an unwanted pregnancy.
- Abortion Delivered (aka Just The Pill) – National Network of Abortion Funds, committed to expanding access to medication
- AidAccess – Part of Rebecca Gomperts’ Women on Waves. Dr. Gomperts is a Dutch physician who ships mifepristone from pharmacies in India to tens of thousands of people in U.S regardless of their address, after they complete an online form excluding contraindications and report a gestation of 10 weeks or less.
- PlanCPills – Provides up-to-date information on how people in the U.S. are accessing at-home abortion pill options online.
- Miscarriage and Abortion Hotline – text and phone options for asking questions during and after a miscarriage or an abortion.
- Center for Reproductive Rights
- Bans Off Our Bodies – national campaign led by Planned Parenthood
- Run for Something – Recruits and supports young progressives to run for local office, especially women, people of color, and those under 40.
- If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice: provides a confidential legal help line and a legal-defense fund to assist people who get tied up in the criminal justice system because of the outcomes of their pregnancies.
- Digital Defense Fund’s online security guidance for phones and computers — especially if you’re doing anything that could be considered pushing legal boundaries.
- Reproaction provides a tool kit for organizing a protest of anti-abortion groups
- Expose Anti-Abortion Centers
Articles and Books
PBS Radio Times, Why some fear that big tech data could become a tool for abortion surveillance – In the digital age, this decision opens the door to law enforcement and private bounty hunters seeking vast amounts of private data from ordinary Americans,” said Alexandra Reeve Givens, the president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based digital rights nonprofit”.
The Biggest Privacy Risks in Post-Roe America, by Russell Brandom, Nicole Wetsman, Corin Faife and Mary Beth Griss, The Verge, 6/27/22- Our best advice for staying safe while you’re seeking abortion care
HHS Issued Guidance to Protect Private Medical Information. Here Are Some Best Practices for Users of Period-Tracking Apps, by Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, Ms. Magazine, 6/30/22
How New Jersey’s abortion laws work, by Henry Savage, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/24/22
Should You Delete Your Period-Tracking App to Protect Your Privacy? by Julia Ries, Health, 7/5/22
The Necessity of Hope: Things are bad. They will get worse. But despair has never been an option. By Rebecca Traister, The Cut, 6/24/22
What a Story of 1970s Abortion Activism Can Teach Us Today. By Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 6/30/22
‘Call Jane’: Underground network helped women get abortions before Roe, by Kim Bellware, The Washington Post, 6/14/22
Lessons from an underground women’s abortion service in the 1970s, by Joy Ellison, The Washington Post, 6/25/22
“We Still Can Control the Future”: The Jane Collective Founder on Coping With a Post-Roe v. Wade Reality, by Nicole Phelps, Vogue, 6/15/22
Book: Without Apology: The Abortion Struggle Now, by Jenny Brown, VersoBooks