On May 12, the New Jersey Catholic Conference released a joint statement from the state’s Catholic bishops responding to Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement in which he renews a push to expand abortion access in the state. The bishops describe this new effort as “a direct attack on the dignity and sanctity of life,” and reaffirm the Church’s commitment to help expectant mothers in need.  The statement was signed by seven New Jersey prelates, including Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., of the Diocese of Trenton. The text follows.

Catholic Church in New Jersey Stands Ready to Help Moms and Mothers-to-Be in Need

A joint statement from the New Jersey Catholic bishops on Governor Murphys proposal that all health insurers in New Jersey provide coverage for abortion services

The Catholic Bishops of New Jersey join to express our disappointment and outrage over Governor Murphy’s announcement regarding proposed legislation to expand access to abortion in New Jersey, an act that by its very nature terminates human life. If enacted, this legislation would mandate health insurance coverage for abortions, codify regulations that permit non-physicians to perform abortions; and create a public fund that dedicates taxpayer money to pay for abortions.

Ironically, New Jersey already has some of the most permissive abortion laws in the United States and continues to provide abortion providers tens of millions of dollars in public funds to perform these services. New Jersey continues to rank among the top three states in annual abortion procedures nationwide. For these reasons it is incomprehensible to force health insurance providers in New Jersey to cover 100 percent of the cost to expand access to these abhorrent services.

This proposed legislation is a direct attack on the dignity and sanctity of life and is further evidence that we have failed as a society when a mother feels her only option is to end the life of her child.

For our part, the Catholic Church is committed to opposing this legislation, but more importantly we stand ready to broaden and increase awareness about the abundant resources and programs we offer from pregnancy and foster care centers to clothing, food, housing services, adoption agencies, family resource centers, and national programs such as Walking with Moms in Need. We promise to assist and stand by every mother and family facing a difficult and unplanned pregnancy.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R.

Archbishop, Archdiocese of Newark

Most Reverend Kevin J. Sweeney

Bishop, Diocese of Paterson

Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M.

Bishop, Diocese of Trenton

Most Reverend James F. Checchio

Bishop, Diocese of Metuchen

Most Reverend Dennis J. Sullivan

Bishop, Diocese of Camden

Most Reverend Kurt Burnette

Bishop, Eparchy of Passaic

Most Reverend Yousif Habash

Bishop of Our Lady of Deliverance of the Syriac Catholic Diocese

To dowload the PDF of the statement, click HERE.