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Senate President Steve Sweeney. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Sweeney says Reproductive Freedom Act won’t be posted in its current form

By Joey Fox, December 20 2021 5:41 pm

Asked today about the fate of the Reproductive Freedom Act in the lame duck session, outgoing Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) said that legislative Democrats are “still working on it.”

“If I can get the bill right, we will [post it this session],” Sweeney said. “The skill in this job is to get 21, and for the [Assembly] Speaker to get 41. That’s not always that easy. People have very strong feelings on reproductive freedom.”

Sweeney added that the bill won’t be brought to the Senate in its current format, an indication the Senate president doesn’t believe he has the requisite 21 votes.

The primary intent of the Reproductive Freedom Act is to codify abortion access into state law, making it more robust should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade.

But the bill’s other provisions, which among other things require insurers to cover abortions with no out-of-pocket cost and loosen restrictions on late-term abortions, have drawn more sustained opposition, with pro-choice Democrats and Republicans alike saying they’re hesitant to support some parts of the bill.

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