The U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade, but access to abortion was left primarily to the states. Some states have moved to regulate abortion to the point that it's very difficult for women to access the procedure, but New Jersey has only minimal regulations for abortion providers and patients. The state requires all abortions to be provided by licensed physicians, but lacks waiting periods or consent requirements.
In fact, New Jersey has some of the least-restrictive abortion laws in the country and has abortion providers in most counties. As a comparison, many states have such restrictive laws and licensing requirements that the procedure is nearly impossible to access (for example, only 1 percent of Mississippi counties have access to abortion services).
One of the only abortion restrictions in the state is a ban on so-called "partial birth" abortions after 12 weeks of gestation, but that was ruled unconstitutional and is thus unenforceable. New Jersey does not require waiting periods, parental consent, forced ultrasounds, or other restrictions on patients.
Abortion providers in New Jersey, however, must comply with some limited restrictions. For instance, the procedure must be performed in a hospital or other specialized facility; services provided after the 14th week must be provided in a "licensed hospital;" and providers offering services after the 18th week must have admitting and surgical privileges within 20 minutes driving time of the facility.
Learn more about New Jersey abortion laws with the following chart and links. See FindLaw's Reproductive Rights section for additional articles and resources.
|Code Section||(Abortion) repealed effective September 1, 1979. No replacement statute enacted (2A:65A6)|
|Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion||Partial birth abortion prohibited unless necessary to save life of mother (found unconstitutional 41 F. Supp. 2d 478. aff'd 220 F3d 127 (2000))|
|Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion||-|
|Penalty for Unlawful Abortion||-|
|Residency Requirements for Patients||-|
|Physician Licensing Requirements||-|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a New Jersey family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Because abortion is typically related to myriad areas of law, abortion laws are often complex. This is true even in states like New Jersey where the laws are fairly permissive. If you need more information or clarification about New Jersey's abortion laws, then the best thing that you can do is to talk to an experienced attorney.
Contact a qualified attorney.