MAPLEWOOD, NJ — A protest coordinated by pro-life groups was held today in front of the office of State Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-27). 

Jasey is the second prime sponsor of State Senate bill 3030, known as the Reproductive Freedom Act, which would protect New Jersey women’s right to make personal health decisions concerning birth control and abortion. This would protect New Jersey women’s right to choose should the U.S. Supreme Court ever overturn Roe v. Wade.

Mary Theroux, Jasey’s chief of staff, said there were some 70-80 people protesting on the narrow sidewalk on the side of Valley Street opposite the office, including some teenagers. It was unknown if there were any local residents in the group.

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Jasey responded to the protest with a Facebook post stating, “We respect the First Amendment right of any individual, group or organization to peacefully and safely protest, just as we expect that the right to privacy espoused in Roe v. Wade be respected. 

“I am proud to be a lead sponsor of the Reproductive Freedom Act. When this law is passed and enacted, it will codify every woman’s absolute, constitutionally protected right to high quality, comprehensive reproductive health care in New Jersey. Women will have continued access to care, autonomy in decision-making and the full protection of the law in our State. And they are entitled to nothing less.”

Jasey’s office received “numerous lovely emails from local residents who took the time to email the Assemblywoman their support after having seen the protesters,” Theroux told TAPinto SOMA. 

Theroux quoted an email from a Maplewood woman, who said “I saw the protestors outside your office today while I was driving to Maplewood Village… I just wanted to thank you for standing up and helping to protect the rights of women in our state. Your support of the Reproductive Freedom Act is appreciated beyond measure. It is vital to ensure that women’s lives and rights are protected.”

While the Assemblywoman has received communication from constituents opposed to the bill, Theroux said, not one of the emails the office received today was in support of the protestors. “All of the emails were individually written, heartfelt, and extremely supportive,” Theroux said.

Maplewood Deputy Mayor Dean Dafis said he is “proud to be represented by Assemblywoman Jasey.”

“We know that for these protestors the so-called ‘life’ that matters ends at conception as they are the same folks who protest against expanding opportunities and services to all persons.”

Dafis also noted that “Assemblywoman Jasey’s long-standing and demonstrated commitment to equality, equity and fairness in NJ is on display once again in her current effort to fully protect reproductive freedom in our state against the advancing threats from an increasingly theocratic U.S. Supreme Court. It is an exemplary profile in compassionate and moral leadership in public service.  If all lives truly matter, then all life conceived should have equal access in opportunity, health, and happiness notwithstanding skin color, ethnicity, immigration status, class, gender identity or expression, orientation or any other classification.”

Participating groups, who issued a press release yesterday, were LIFENET, New Jersey Right to Life, the League of American Families, Garden State Families, the Family Policy of Alliance of New Jersey, and BlackGenocide.org.

The release said that protests were also scheduled at the offices of State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-11) and Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo (D-2), also sponsors of the Reproductive Freedom Act; the act has Gov. Phil Murphy’s backing as well as that of state Democratic leaders.

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