REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM ACT: On Thursday, October 8, the NJ legislature will propose a “Reproductive Freedom Act” “to protect reproductive freedom” and to ”help protect and expand New Jerseyans’ ability to receive reproductive health care, such as birth control, and pregnancy-related care, including abortion.” I have addressed this matter directly and personally with the Governor. The New Jersey Catholic Conference has issued the following joint statement of NJ Bishops:
October 5 Statement of the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey on
the Reproductive Freedom Act
The Catholic Church believes and teaches that all human life is sacred from conception to natural death. For that reason, we, the Bishops of each of the dioceses in New Jersey, join in voicing the strongest possible opposition to the “Reproductive Freedom Act.” Without minimizing other serious threats to human life and dignity evident in contemporary American society, the Catholic Church consistently maintains that “the threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed.” (USCCB, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, “Introductory Letter,” 2020).
When informed of the text of the USCCB document early in 2020, Pope Francis observed 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.” (Pope Francis to American Catholic Bishops, USCCB Region IX, January 16, 2020).”
As the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey, we urge all Catholics and people of good will to reject this proposed legislative initiative in our state and to contact your State legislators to vigorously express opposition to its passage.
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R. Archbishop, Archdiocese of Newark
Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M. Bishop, Diocese of Trenton
Most Reverend Dennis J. Sullivan Bishop, Diocese of Camden
Most Reverend Kevin J. Sweeney Bishop, Diocese of Paterson
Most Reverend James F. Checchio Bishop, Diocese of Metuchen
Most Reverend Kurt Burnette Bishop, Eparchy of Passaic
Most Reverend Yousif Habash Bishop of Syriac Catholic Diocese