Congresswoman Mickie Sherril/Facebook photo

Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) hosted a panel discussion with Planned Parenthood in Montclair to speak with legal experts, advocates, healthcare providers, elected officials, and students about the current landscape of abortion access and reproductive freedom protections in the aftermath of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, available care, and next steps post Roe.

Rep. Sherrill was joined by:

  • Roslyn Y. Rogers Collins, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Metropolitan New Jersey (PPMNJ)
  • Rhonda R. Nichols, M.D., FACOG, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey
  • Magda Schaler-Haynes, Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University
  • Kate McDonnell, Senior Deputy Chief Counsel to Governor Murphy joined Rep. Sherrill on the panel.

“Every woman deserves access to reproductive health services and the ability to make her own decisions about her healthcare,” said Rep. Sherrill. “In the face of unending attacks on reproductive freedom from extremist Republicans, including the dangerous national ban they proposed today, I will not give up the fight to protect safe abortion access, regardless of where you live. I want to thank Planned Parenthood of Montclair for the tremendous level of dedication and care that they offer to the surrounding community and for all our panelists’ expertise and efforts to ensure access to care.”

“In January, New Jersey codified the right to freedom of reproductive choice,” said Kate McDonnell, Senior Deputy Chief Counsel to Governor Murphy. “Following the devastating ruling in Dobbs, New Jersey, led by Governor Murphy and many passionate lawmakers and advocates, acted quickly to enact two important pieces of legislation aimed at protecting patients and health care professionals who receive and provide care here. As we see this fundamental right under attack across our nation, New Jersey has emerged as a national model for states seeking to implement strong protections of abortion rights, and the Murphy Administration will continue to work to ensure that the right to reproductive choice is meaningful and accessible to everyone. It is an honor to sit alongside leaders who are fiercely dedicated to ensuring a woman’s right to bodily autonomy and unwavering in the fight for equal treatment under the law.”

“PPMNJ is committed to providing reproductive health care including access to abortion to all seeking our services-as we have done for more than 90 years. Specialized support will be provided for those who may be traveling into New Jersey from states with bans and restrictions,” said Roslyn Rogers Collins President and CEO PPMNJ.

“The Supreme Court’s revocation of the constitutional right to abortion undermines our basic right to bodily autonomy and creates a public health emergency. Without access to timely, affordable abortion care we will see dramatic, preventable exacerbation of health disparities across the United States. We cannot allow this to happen. Thank you to Representative Sherill for taking action to secure our rights and for hosting today’s Reproductive Freedom Panel,” said Magda Schaler-Haynes, Professor of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health.

“As an Obstetrician/Gynecologist, I know firsthand the decision to have an abortion is one of the most difficult decisions a women can make in her lifetime. Each woman who makes this decision has gone through countless scenarios of how this happened and has entertained multiple options to no avail. It all culminates to the necessity of having either a medical or surgical abortion. To have this difficult decision politized; to have the procedure limited, banned, and criminalized is to deny a woman her rights to take care of herself and those who depend on her,” said Rhonda R. Nichols, M.D., FACOG​, Medical Director at PPMNJ. “This decision should be made between the woman, her provider, and anyone she deems appropriate to enter in this discussion. This is the right of confidentiality and privacy which are basic tenets to anyone seeking a medical or surgical service. This is codified in the HIPPA laws.”

Rep. Sherrill voted to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to defend women’s reproductive rights and the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act to extend legal protections to Americans who utilize their constitutional freedom to travel to another state to seek an abortion. The Congresswoman also voted for the Right to Contraception Act, which makes clear in federal law that individuals and married couples have the right to access contraception.

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