CHERRY HILL, N.J. -- The Reproductive Freedom Act has proven to be a political albatross around the necks of the Democrat Party, and for some it has proved to be fatal. Certainly, in the case of Vince Mazzeo, who was defeated last fall and was a sponsor of the bill. Mazzeo chose to ignore the protestors demands to meet with him and discuss their grave concerns of the statutes of the bill. Seven seats have been lost by the Democrat Party from last November's elections including Senate President Steve Sweeny's whose opponent Edward Durr vehemently opposed the legislation.
Seemingly oblivious to the apparent trend, Governor Murphy, whose state has the most expansive existing abortion laws in the country, continues to press for its passing. Now, what many would surmise as the undermining of democracy, appointed officials who are unelected and thus unaccountable have brought about significant changes in reproductive laws that could not have been accomplished by the legislature. Governor Phil Murphy, being unable to garner the votes needed in the state legislature to pass the Reproductive Freedom Act has circumvented the legislative process and accomplished many of the changes through the Governors appointed medical board.
"This overreach is designed to override the will of the legislature and the will of the people," stated Rev. Dr. Clenard H. Childress Jr Director of Learn Northeast, "It is clearly without consent or caucus! These changes directly affect African American Women. There certainly has not been any consideration of the well-being and safety of these minority women, its incredulous that doctors would be so politically biased they would agree to ignore their own training and sanction change that would endanger these unsuspecting women."
Marie Tasy of New Jersey Right To Life, who will be holding a rally Friday, January 14th at the state house, plans to have this issue on the agenda, "We will have legislators as well as pro-life activist informing the public on these critical issues and the clear and present danger of the Reproductive Freedom Act."
The primary danger Rev Childress is referring to is the medical boards decision to allow non doctors to perform abortions legally. 52% of all African American pregnancies end in abortion (Allan Guttmacher Report). African Americans make up 12% of the population but account for 36% of abortions (center for disease control). Since Roe v Wade over 20 million African Americans have been killed by abortion. This disparity certainly should be cause for alarm among African American leadership in the assembly and senate. Senator Ron Rice of Newark who now serves as an advisor to Shavonda Sumter (Patterson) who is the newly elected chairperson. New officers also include Senator Troy Singleton, Assemblywomen Reynolds Jackson as vice chairs. Treasurer Assemblyman Herb Conway and Secretary Assemblyman Jamel Holley and Sergeant-at-Arms Assemblyman Gordon Johnson are returning board members. Assemblyman William Spearman serves as Chaplain. The Black Caucus has thus far said nothing nor asked for a further inquiry.
The Black Caucus chairwomen Shavonda Sumter spoke of the present Covid crisis with similar analogies of the disparity of deaths among African Americans.
"The devastation of COVID-19 last year laid bare the disparate impact of the loss of life to the disease. African Americans make up only 12% of the New Jersey population, but we made up 16% of all deaths last year. This glaring alarm charged the NJLBC into action," said Sumter.
"If the Caucus charged into action based on that disparity it certainly should respond to the endangering of 52% of African American women who get pregnant in New Jersey where non doctors will be performing abortions," stated Patricia Kline Assembly candidate.
John Tomickie of the League of American Families stated, "This is a clear case where the elected body of lawmakers have been excluded from what they are elected to do, make the laws. I have met with many of the Black Caucus members. I can't see how the Black Caucus can stand by idly while thousands of African American women will be affected by a decision made by a body of unelected officials, staggering."
There has been the necessity for multiple faith-based ministries to travel the state teaching and counseling girls on the clear medical reasons why not to use abortion as a contraceptive. Many girls have multiple abortions, now the abortion industry whose claims have been abortion should be safe, legal and rare have just increased the possibility of harm and death for girls who have abortions by non-doctors. Where does it end?
The Reproductive Freedom Act called for non-doctors to be able to perform abortions. Now that the bill has been stalled in the State Legislature the Governor is attempting to introduce it by "Any Means Possible" stated Rev Childress, "It's up to responsible leadership, especially among the African American leadership, to address this head on. It would be gross negligence for the Black Caucus to ignore the detrimental impact this will clearly have on the African American community whom many have elected to represent them."