The Abortion Issue Intensifies for Battleground Democrats

HACKENSACK – There may be no better motivation for Democrats this year than abortion rights.

At least they think so.

Ever since the overturn of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court three months ago, Democrats and like-minded souls have held numerous rallies to support women’s reproductive freedom.

Now with the midterms just seven weeks away and a GOP proposal for a nationwide abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy recently unveiled by Lindsey Graham, the intensity may be even higher.

CD-5 Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who is trying to fend off Republican Frank Pallotta for the second time, held a press conference Monday morning outside the Main Street offices of Planned Parenthood.

His goal seemed twofold:

Express solidarity with women’s reproductive rights.

And hype legislation he is proposing to further protect a women’s right to choose.

The Democratic-controlled House already has passed a bill to codify the tenets of Roe v. Wade into federal law. Its fate in the 50-50 Senate is unclear.

Gottheimer is going a step further. His legislation would protect in vitro fertilization and the privacy of women’s personal data on reproductive health apps and social media.

He said an immediate concern is a “life at inception” bill backed by 166 House members that could threaten in vitro fertilization. Gottheimer said he also fears that states adopting total abortion bans would seek to access women’s personal data to ascertain if they had, or were thinking about having, an abortion.

At the moment, Republicans don’t have the numbers to pass any laws about abortion.  But that can change after the upcoming midterm election.

This was not an official campaign event, but when asked about abortion and Nov. 8, Gottheimer said that voters should realize that “this is literally an attack on a woman’s right to choose.”

It’s one, he said, that is being driven by conservative Republicans who “believe they know what’s best” for everyone else.

Other speakers at the event, including Bergen County Commissioners Mary Jo Amoroso and Germaine Ortiz, made similar comments.

Highlighting the chaotic nature of the post-Roe world, a Planned Parenthood official said many patients are confused about their rights in New Jersey. The state Legislature codified Roe v. Wade into law earlier this year, but everyone doesn’t follow the news.

And then, there are patients who truly know what’s up in their state and who travel to New Jersey to get an abortion. The clinic, in fact, just treated a woman who journeyed from Ohio.

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