Newark, N.J., Mar 18, 2021 / 18:01 pm
The Catholic Church’s opposition to a bill that would guarantee a right to abortion under New Jersey law is founded in her defense of human life and dignity, the Archbishop of Newark said on Tuesday.
“Our opposition to the proposed Reproductive Freedom Act is based on our absolute commitment to human life and dignity. The Catholic Church stands with all who advocate for civil rights and racial equality,” Joseph Cardinal Tobin wrote in a March 16 opinion piece at The Star-Ledger.
“We strongly support the right to quality healthcare for women and men in all regions of our state, regardless of their economic, social or religious status. We especially want to advocate for those in our communities who are poor or on the margins of our society.”
The bill was announced in October 2020 by Gov. Phil Murphy.
The Reproductive Freedom Act would guarantee a right to abortion under state law and require most private insurers to cover abortion and birth control with no out-of-pocket expenses. It would remove some restrictions on abortion, while allowing physician assistants, certified midwives, and other nurses to administer legal abortions.
Cardinal Tobin wrote that he Church “teaches that all human life is sacred from conception to natural death. That is why we oppose all threats to human life and dignity evident in contemporary society, including abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide and capital punishment.”
“We join with Pope Francis in noting that the right to life of the unborn ‘is the most fundamental right. This is not first a religious issue; it is a human rights issue.’”
The Church “cannot support provisions of the proposed Reproductive Freedom Act that threaten the life of unborn children or remove existing laws and regulations that are intended to protect the life and health of mothers,” the cardinal stated.