New Jersey lawmakers rally in Newark in support of federal abortion rights
Several lawmakers from New Jersey, including the state’s two United States senators, led a rally in Newark in favor of reproductive rights.
The rally comes as one state Republican senator introduced a bill that would ban abortions in New Jersey after the first trimester.
“We will defend Roe,” Sen. Cory Booker said at the rally.
“We are at a crisis moment in abortion access,” said Roslyn Rogers Collins, of Planned Parenthood of Metro New Jersey.
Booker said that he and Sen. Bob Menendez will vote this week to approve a measure to make the right to have an abortion a federal law.
“But I want to be clear with everybody, it will most likely fail,” Booker said.
LIVE BLOG: Roe v. Wade
New Jersey already has a similar law on the books to protect the right to an abortion. It was signed in January. But Republican state Sen. Robert Durr says that bill makes murder legal. He sparred on Twitter over it with Democratic state Sen. Teresa Ruiz.
“I protected women. I protected my daughter,” Ruiz said.
Durr has sponsored a bill that would ban abortion after 12 weeks. It is highly unlikely to go anywhere in Trenton, but advocates say they won't take any chances.
“If you think we are safe here in this state - we are, but for this moment. But there is a brewing surge that is always there waiting to strike and waiting to see when the moment is right,” Ruiz said.
“This is settled law, so an attack on this is simply a partisan attack,” says Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill.
Durr currently does not have any other senators sponsoring his bill. His bill would allow abortions in cases where the mother's life is in danger.