Sen. Bob Menendez recently reintroduced legislation to protect medical providers in states where abortion care remains legal.
Alongside Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Kim Schrier, MD (D-WA), Menendez noted the Let Doctors Provide Reproductive Health Care Act would protect attempts by Republicans to restrict their practice in legal states.
“Doctors should not fear being punished for providing their patients with legal abortion services,” said Sen. Menendez. “The Let Doctors Provide Reproductive Health Care Act will ensure that doctors providing legal abortion care are protected and can practice without legal threats.”
Protecting New Jersey Healthcare Clinicians
The bill would seek to protect doctors that provide legal abortion care from being held liable for providing services to patients from other states.
It would ensure facilities that engage in this type of reproductive healthcare are protected from efforts to restrict their practice or create uncertainty about legal liability, and that the U.S. Department of Justice could not turn a blind eye to states that violate the protections.
Bans Across the U.S.
Additionally, the legislation would prohibit the use of federal funds to pursue legal cases against individuals who access legal reproductive healthcare in an outside state and ensure these reproductive healthcare facilities could not be denied professional liability insurance.
The law would create a Department of Justice grant fund for legal education projects for providers. Further grant funding would provide support for physical, cyber, or data security upgrades.
The need for the legislation comes as Republicans in statehouse across the U.S. continue to rollback reproductive rights for women. Since the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling last year by the U.S. Supreme Court, 19 states have moved to ban or restrict abortions.
New Jersey Remains Pro-Choice
The Let Doctors Provide Reproductive Health Care Act would seek to protect states with legal abortion access like New Jersey, which has seen a rise in pro-choice sentiment over the last decade.
That’s according to a Monmouth University Poll in February which found three-fourths of the state’s residents supported maintaining legal access to abortion.
The state has taken numerous actions to defend the medical practice within New Jersey, and in December 2022 the Murphy Administration made $5 million in funding available to protect abortion care providers. Meanwhile, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness was offering grants of up to $100,000 for providers to improve security in May.
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