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(LifeSiteNews) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has approved revisions to the state’s medical code by the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners to allow medical personnel other than licensed doctors to perform abortions while also removing safeguards for mothers who experience a medical emergency during an abortion.

The governor’s office applauded the change and stated that the new rules are part of its concerted effort to expand and preserve abortion access. The new rules took effect on Dec. 6.

“At a time when our country is on the verge of severely limiting access to [abortion], New Jersey is prioritizing the expansion of these critical services,” Gov. Murphy said.

He has backed the initiative since a formal proposal delineating the changes were first published in January 2021.

“The Board of Medical Examiners’ evaluation of the medical evidence will modernize New Jersey’s outdated regulations and barriers to reproductive health care in New Jersey,” he said at that time. “I thank the Board of Medical Examiners for their thoughtful and deliberative examination of the rules and work to repeal antiquated regulations and expand access to [abortion] care for all New Jerseyans.”

Some of the most significant changes in the new regulations are:

  • Advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, certified nurse midwives and certified midwives, in addition to physicians licensed to practice medicine and surgery, can perform early aspiration abortions
  • Abortions after 14 weeks can be done in an office rather than in a licensed hospital as previously required
  • The requirement for abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 20 minutes of the abortion office is abolished.
  • Mandatory reporting of abortion-related complications is not longer necessary

The Board of Medical Examiners began creating the framework in December 2018, when it established a subcommittee to reconsider New Jersey’s abortion-related medical regulations in light of the most recent abortion research. The research the Board cited in its study was frequently conducted by pro-abortion or abortion-friendly organizations such as Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), the American Public Health Association (APHA), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG).

After the research period, the process moved forward and resulted in a unanimous vote by the Board to revise the state’s standards in September 2020. The proposed changes were made available for two months of public comment  on Jan. 4, 2021. Among the organizations who commented to oppose the new rules were the New Jersey Catholic Conference, New Jersey Right to Life, and the Solutions Health and Pregnancy Center Board of Directors. The entirety of the published comments and the Board of Medical Examiners’ responses can be found here.

In October 2021, the medical board of Medical Examiners once again voted unanimously to approve its proposed modifications.

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