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New Jersey

State Constitutional Protection

The New Jersey Constitution protects the right to choose as a fundamental right and to a greater extent than the U.S. Constitution.  The New Jersey Supreme Court struck down under the state constitution a law requiring either notice to one parent or a judicial waiver before a minor could obtain abortion care.  Planned Parenthood of Cent. N.J. v. Farmer, 762 A.2d 620 (N.J. 2000).  A similar restriction has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court under the U.S. Constitution.  Ohio v. Akron Ctr. for Reprod. Health, 497 U.S. 502 (1990).

The New Jersey Supreme Court held that a law providing state medical assistance for abortion solely in cases of life endangerment was invalid under the state constitution because the state must also provide funds for those abortion services medically necessary to preserve the health of the woman.  Right to Choose v. Byrne, 450 A.2d 925 (N.J. 1982).  A similar restriction has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court under the U.S. Constitution.  Williams v. Zbaraz, 448 U.S. 358 (1980).

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