U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger joined New Jersey Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today to announce their continued commitment to ensure that women in New Jersey have access to reproductive health care services in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey – and the entire Justice Department – will do everything within our power to protect reproductive freedom,” U.S. Attorney Sellinger said.
“Despite the Court’s decision, abortion remains legal in New Jersey. We will work tirelessly to ensure women’s unobstructed access to reproductive health services throughout New Jersey, including access to abortion services, so that women may consult with their medical providers to make important and personal decisions about their bodies and their lives.”
“As other states impose draconian penalties on patients and health care professionals who seek or provide abortion care, New Jersey has chosen a very different path. We are using every available tool at our disposal to keep abortion patients and their providers safe,” Acting Attorney General Platkin said.
“We’re proud to work side-by-side with Governor Murphy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the federal government to protect access to reproductive health care.”
U.S. Sellinger and Acting Attorney General Platkin made the joint announcement today at a press conference in Newark.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger and Acting Attorney General Platkin emphasized their commitment to having open lines of communication and, when appropriate, to share intelligence and information in order to facilitate efficient decision-making in protecting reproductive rights.
They also announced plans for their offices to work together to conduct a series of outreach sessions with stakeholders, such as reproductive service providers and advocates, to send a clear message that law enforcement at all levels will protect reproductive rights.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger reiterated U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland’s strong disagreement with the Dobbs ruling and its far-reaching impact on people, particularly people of color and limited financial resources.
“While the right to control one’s own body is central to individual freedom, the Court’s decision denies millions of women that right by preventing them from being able to make critical and highly personal decisions about their bodies, their health, and their futures,” U.S. Attorney Sellinger said.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger promised continued enforcement of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which prohibits obstructing access to reproductive health services through violence, threats of violence, or property damage.
He said women who live in New Jersey – or who travel to New Jersey – will continue to have unobstructed access to reproductive health services, including abortion services.
The Office’s newly created Civil Rights Division will lead the Office’s enforcement and outreach efforts.
The Division brings together civil and criminal prosecutors into one division focused on protecting vitally important civil rights, including the right to access reproductive health care.
Anyone with knowledge of FACE Act violations can contact the office through the civil rights hotline at 855-281-3339 or through the complaint portal on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey, website: District of New Jersey.