NARAL Pro-Choice America

Shortcut Navigation:

Get Email Updates

* means required

Privacy Policy >>
   Please leave this field empty

Donate

Donate now to support NARAL Pro-Choice America

Anti-choice groups are attacking women’s rights everywhere. Your gift helps us fight back!

Donate Now

New Jersey

Refusal to Provide Medical Services

ABORTION REFUSAL CLAUSE

New Jersey allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide abortion services.

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Individuals, hospitals, or health care facilities.

What does the refusal clause allow? No person, hospital, or health-care facility may be required to provide abortion care. The refusal to provide or assist in abortion services may not constitute grounds for civil or criminal liability, disciplinary action, or discriminatory treatment.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected? No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised? No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for abortion services? No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause? No.

Has a court considered the constitutionality of this law? A court held these provisions unconstitutional as applied to non-sectarian, nonprofit hospitals, which do no have the right to refuse to permit their facilities to be used for first-trimester abortion services. Doe v. Bridgeton Hosp. Ass'n, 366 A.2d 641 (N.J. 1976), cert. denied, 433 U.S. 914 (1977).

N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2A: 65A-1 to -4 (Enacted 1974).

INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR CONTRACEPTION REFUSAL CLAUSE

Although New Jersey law requires health-insurance plans that cover prescription medication to provide equitable coverage for contraception, certain employers and/or insurers may require that their plans exclude coverage for contraception.

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Religious employers for whom contraceptive methods are contrary to their bona fide religious beliefs and practices. 

What does the refusal clause allow? A religious employer may require issuers of its health insurance plans to exclude coverage for contraception, such as to preserve the life or health of an enrollee.

Is this refusal clause overbroad, jeopardizing insurance coverage for contraception for women? No.  The law narrowly defines the term "religious employer" as a tax-exempt church or association of churches or an elementary or secondary school controlled, operated, or principally supported by a church or an association of churches.  This narrow definition is appropriately limited in scope, applying to religious entities but not broad-based organizations that operate in the public sphere.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected?  Yes.  An employer exercising a refusal clause must provide written notice to prospective enrollees.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised? Yes.  A refusal clause may not be used to exclude overage for prescription medication prescribed for reasons other than contraception, or to preserve the life or health of a subscriber.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to obtain contraceptive coverage if their employer exercises a refusal clause? No.

N.J. Stat. Ann. 17:48-6ee, 17:48A-7bb, 17:48E-35.29, 17B:27-46.1ee, 17B:26-2.1y, 26:2J-4.30, 17B:27A-19.15, 17:48F-13.2, 52:14-17.29j, 17B:27A-7.12 (Enacted 2006).

STERILIZATION REFUSAL CLAUSE

New Jersey allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to participate in sterilizing procedures.

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Individuals, hospitals, or health-care facilities.

What does the refusal clause allow? No person, hospital, or health-care facility may be required to participation in sterilization services. The refusal to perform, assist, or provide abortion services may not constitute grounds for civil or criminal liability, disciplinary action, or discriminatory treatment.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected? No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised? No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for abortion services? No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause? No.

N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2A: 65A-1 to -4 (Enacted 1974).


Bookmark and Share

©2014 NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation   Copyright Information