Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) announced an expansion of reproductive health care access yesterday with the publishing of new rules in the New Jersey Register, according to a press release.
These rules were unanimously voted on by the State Board of Medical Examiners in October and will remove medically unnecessary regulations on abortion and create more opportunities for the state’s reproductive health care services.
The new regulations rescind the Termination of Pregnancy rule, which required abortions to be performed by a physician, and disallowed abortions from taking place in an office past 14 weeks of pregnancy, according to the release.
The new rules will potentially allow for 11,956 advanced practice nurses, 4,495 physician assistants, 393 certified nurse-midwives and 18 certified midwives to gain authorization to perform abortions. Reproductive care will also be included within the general rules for the safety of patients undergoing office procedures.
The decision to implement these new rules came from the recommendations of a State Board of Medical Examiners subcommittee in 2018 that studied how the current rules impacted the reproductive health care field’s ability to make advances, according to the release.
In making this decision, the Board assessed national medical and public health studies to ensure health and safety measures were met. These studies suggested that over-regulating abortions that are medically unnecessary will negatively impact public health by disrupting citizens’ access to essential care, according to the release.
“At a time when our country is on the verge of severely limiting access to reproductive health care, New Jersey is prioritizing the expansion of these critical services,” Murphy said. “Removing outdated barriers to care ensures that all New Jerseyans have equitable access to reproductive health care.”