NJ Launches New Group to Protect Abortion Patient Data

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New Jersey took another step to protect abortion providers and their patients by launching a “strike force” to maintain confidentiality and protect access to abortion in the Garden State.

The group, made up of state law enforcement officials, will seek civil and criminal remedies against those who intimidate reproductive health care providers or patients seeking their services, ensure compliance with patients and limit the sharing of patient and provider data following the US Supreme Court ruling. overthrow of Roe c. Wade.

“The Supreme Court’s right-wing majority opinion in Dobbs is a devastating setback for women’s rights in America and will harm millions across the country,” Acting Attorney General Matt Platkin said Monday in a statement. . “But make no mistake: Abortion remains legal in New Jersey.”

Last month, the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has ruled that the US Constitution does not guarantee the right to abortion, overthrowing Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The strike force will be comprised of individuals from the Department of Law and Public Safety, with representatives from the law, civil rights, criminal justice and consumer divisions, alongside New York State Police. Jersey and the Insurance Fraud Attorney’s Office.

Monday’s decision follows Governor Phil Murphy’s July 1 signing of two abortion bills that prohibit the extradition of out-of-state residents who perform or obtain the procedure in New Jersey to states where abortion is criminalized and prohibit disclosure of patient data to those states. .

In January, he signed a bill codifying New Jersey’s abortion protections that also requires the Department of Banking and Insurance to conduct a study to determine whether the state should issue a mandate requiring insurers to cover abortion. procedure.

Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, said Monday’s decision was unnecessary and was meant to boost Murphy’s national profile on the abortion issue.

“I have been involved in the pro-life movement for 30 years. I have never heard of a situation in New Jersey that warrants this type of action. There have never been any attacks or violence from pro-life people outside of abortion clinics,” she said.

She also claimed Murphy’s action was an attempt to circumvent the Legislature, where some Democratic lawmakers have been resisting expanding abortion protections.

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