TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is calling on Congress to pass federal legislation that protects the reproductive rights of all Americans. Murphy made remarks Tuesday morning following a draft opinion report suggesting the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion.
He condemned the idea of repealing Roe, but said New Jersey would not be affected because the state has enshrined abortion rights in state law.
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“If the Court takes this terrible step, this decision will have no impact on New Jersey state law or the full right to reproductive freedom under our state law,” Murphy said. “This remains completely intact, because here in New Jersey, instead of hoping for the best, we prepare for the worst.”
Murphy took action to protect reproductive rights after Judge Arm Coney Barrett was placed on the high court.
Strong backlash erupted on both sides of the abortion issue after POLITICO received a copy of the 98-page draft opinion from a person familiar with court proceedings in the Mississippi abortion ban case along with other supporting details. the authenticity of the document.
No official decision has been made yet, but if this draft opinion stands, women could lose their federally protected right to abortion by the end of June, and that is already sparking protests.
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Supporters and opponents of abortion rights clashed outside the Supreme Court early Tuesday in a preview of what could be a state-by-state fight if the decision is published.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy called news of the report “a truly dark day in America” on Twitter.
He is also assuring New Jerseyans that if this draft opinion stands, it will not change the Garden State’s “access to abortion.”
I want to assure all New Jerseyans that today’s Supreme Court news does not change access to abortion in our state.
Access to reproductive health care remains available to anyone in New Jersey who needs it.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) May 3, 2022
Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement calling the leak a “betrayal of court confidences”:
To the extent that this betrayal of the Court’s confidences was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected.
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We at the Court are fortunate to have a workforce, both permanent employees and paralegals, intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law. Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the court process and upholding the trust of the court. This was a singular and egregious violation of that trust which is an affront to the Court and to the community of public servants who work here.