The Roe v. Wade sparks protests and praise across New Jersey

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Right after the overthrow of Roe v WadeDemonstrations and celebrations erupted across the state on Friday.

Several hundred people filled tiny Spiotta Park in downtown South Orange at a rally hosted by Blue Wave New Jersey and a host of organizations including Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women, the ACLU and the League of Women Voters.

Mila Jasey, who represents South Orange in the state assembly, said: “The day we have been dreading has arrived.

“Roe v. Wade, the cornerstone of our fundamental right to privacy and autonomy over our bodies and our reproductive choice, is no more.”

Jasey, who introduced the Reproductive Freedom Bill in January, where it was codified into law, reminded those in attendance that New Jersey women will continue to have legal access to abortion.

Yet she pointed out that despite these protections, many in the state do not have access to reproductive and prenatal health care due to financial barriers, and urged the expansion of existing laws.

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Jasey said she attended her 50th college reunion this year and “can’t believe we’re still debating this.

“That’s not true. Without access, there’s no equity. Access is a moral imperative. We’re not going back. Already.”

Rabbi Allie Klein, rabbi of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in Maplewood, spoke about her and her husband’s decision to terminate her pregnancy at 20 weeks after learning that the fetus had severe spina bifida. Doctors had told the couple that if the baby survived, he would never be able to walk or even go to the bathroom.

“Look at me and tell me I’m not fit to make decisions about my own body,” she said.

Klein said that in Jewish teaching, a fetus has no personality before birth and if the mother’s life is in danger, physically or emotionally, by carrying the pregnancy to term, Jews are obligated to terminate. pregnancy to save the life of the pregnant person.

“Preventing me from exercising my right to choose is an attack on Jewish beliefs and on my ability to freely practice my religion,” she said. “Look at me. I dare you to call me a murderer. Look at me and tell me that I am incapable of knowing what is best for me and my family.

“Today we will cry but we will not despair; we will channel our righteous anger into action.

“It’s not over, Clarence Thomas. It’s not over Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett. And it’s definitely not over, Brett Kavanaugh.

“We will hold these so-called judges accountable for this grave act of injustice. We the people will have the final say. Get out of our way. “

Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill called from Washington. “I want to say how happy I am to see everyone coming across New Jersey and across the country to show how deeply furious we are to see these rollbacks by a court that has become extreme and political,” she said.

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Newark Mayor Ras Baraka called the Supreme Court’s decision “a violent and repressive action by the Supreme Court of the United States and those who support it.”

“These are the same people who will tell you they are trying to protect life but lack the courage to protect 9 and 10 year olds in schools.

“These same people who say they want to protect life but refuse to ensure that they are empowering people to have a good life – an opportunity for food, shelter, clothing and equity.

“They would rather control women’s bodies than give them the ability to make their own choices; to allow this country to be free and equal. They prefer to do these things because it keeps them in power.

Amol Sinha, president of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, urged protesters to prepare for a “battle ahead”.

“The Fight to Overthrow Roe v. Wade didn’t happen overnight. They have been in place for 50 years – staffing the courts, finding judges, planning strategy at local and federal levels and all levels in between.

“Our solution won’t happen overnight either,” he said. “I’m here for the long haul, if you are.”

Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller, president of the state’s teachers’ union, the New Jersey Education Association, stressed that the rollback will hit economically disadvantaged people the hardest.

“Those with money, those with wealth, those with power – they will find a way to get abortion care if they need it. Those who are poor, those who are marginalized , they will be the ones with tough choices, tough options, and probably terrible outcomes.

NJ Resistance’s Hetty Rosenstein, who said her mother was present, led the protesters in a call-and-response chant. .

“We stand on the shoulders of our mothers.”

“Who would never give in.”

“We are fighting for the future of our daughters.

“”When we fight, we win.”

Pro-life rally in Morristown

Life advocates hailed the closely watched decision that erased clear national reproductive rights that had been in place for nearly five decades.

Morris County Right to Life, a county chapter of the New Jersey pro-life organization, celebrated the decision on the sidewalks of Morristown Green on Friday afternoon, at one of 100 similar “Decision Day” rallies in national scale.

Lisa Hart, Vice President of the Morris Chapter, said, “Roe v. Wade had been an open wound in our body politic since the day it was decided over 49 years ago.”

She continued, “But today the healing can finally begin, starting with state laws that protect human life in the womb and bring help and hope to their mothers.”

A group of 25 people gathered to pray and chant, with participants holding signs with the messages “Justice for All: Born & Reborn”, “Roe is History” and “Stop Abortion Now”. The rally was greeted with car “honks” of approval by many passers-by while others shouted profanities at the group.

Chris Bell, another of the speakers at the rally, told attendees not to engage in a war of words with those who oppose their message, but to pray for them instead.

“Anyone who thinks it’s right to take the life of an innocent little conceived child is in deep darkness and doesn’t know what he was like when he was first conceived,” he said.

More rallies are planned in New Jersey to support and protest the decision this weekend.

Julia Martin is the 2021 recipient of the New Jersey Society for Professional Journalists’ David Carr Award for her coverage of Montclair for NorthJersey.com.

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E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @TheWriteJulia

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