ICYMI: Texas Abortion Ruling Puts Focus on Jack Ciattarelli’s Anti-Choice Record
The Star-Ledger Opinion: “Conservatives Who Are Celebrating the Texas Decision Are Going to Have a Bad Hangover”
In a Star-Ledger opinion article published this week, editorial page editor Tom Moran highlighted how the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a Texas ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy will hurt Jack Ciattarelli in his gubernatorial bid. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, governors will play a crucial role in protecting the right to choose, which Moran says “raises the temperature on an issue where Ciattarelli has no natural allies in New Jersey.”
Ciattarelli wants to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and called Trump’s conservative Supreme Court nominees his “greatest legacy.” Moran says Ciattarelli’s extremist anti-choice policies are “likely to grate on most New Jersey voters,” who support abortion rights in all or most cases by a margin of nearly 2-1.
“Ciattarelli is losing badly at the starting line, weighed down by his support for President Trump in a state that gags at the name, and his failure to offer a compelling program of change,” says Moran. “The Texas decision makes his climb even steeper.”
While Ciattarelli struggles, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy is fighting for New Jerseyans by pushing for passage of the Reproductive Freedom Act, which would expand access to abortion, prenatal care, and birth control.
Read more about how Ciattarelli’s extremist anti-choice positions will hurt him below:
Star-Ledger: Texas abortion ruling will hurt Ciattarelli
The Supreme Court’s midnight decision to support a Texas ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy is bad news for women in the state, who will have to flee across the border to secure what was a Constitutional right until last week.
Finally, the Texas decision is bad news for Jack Ciattarelli, the Republican candidate for governor, who wants to ban abortions after 20 weeks, in violation of the 24-week protection spelled out in Roe v. Wade. He would also eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, saying he would plug the gap in women’s health care by funding federal health centers instead.
That’s likely to grate on most New Jersey voters, who support abortion rights in “all or most” cases by a margin of nearly 2-1, according to a poll from Pew Research Center.
“It raises the profile of what we have at risk,” says Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, a leading voice on women’s rights. “It’s going to be very harmful to Ciattarelli.”
The Texas decision puts abortion back on the political agenda in all 50 states. It signals that this Court is off the leash, that the nightmare liberals have feared is beginning to unfold, and that Roe v. Wade is likely to be overturned next year when the Court considers a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks.
If Roe is overturned, and federal protection for abortion rights disappears, each state will have to find its own way. And that raises the temperature on an issue where Ciattarelli has no natural allies in New Jersey.
Matthew Hale, a political scientist at Seton Hall University, says Ciattarelli alienates pro-choice voters by favoring restrictions, and alienates pro-life voters by supporting abortion rights under some conditions. “He doesn’t gain on either end,” Hale says.
“New Jersey is overwhelmingly pro-choice, across the political spectrum, with Republicans, Democrats and independents,” Hale says.
The candidates seem to know it. After the Texas ruling, Gov. Phil Murphy held a press conference and pushed for passage of a bill in Trenton, the Reproductive Freedom Act, that would expand access to abortion, prenatal care, and birth control.
“We need to, as soon as possible, put this protection into statute,” Murphy said.
Ciattarelli declined to be interviewed on the topic, and if you search for the word “abortion” on his campaign web site, you have to dig. His position is described under a section titled, “Promote healthy children and families.”
He opposes the Reproductive Freedom Act, charging that it would allow abortions until the moment of birth, and noting that it would deny parents of teens any role. The campaign cites this language in the bill as problematic: “Pregnant individuals should be able to make their own health care decisions throughout the course of their pregnancy with the advice of health care professionals they trust and without government interference or fear of prosecution.”
In New Jersey, abortion rights are behind sturdy defenses, no matter what happens. Even if Roe is overturned, and Ciattarelli were to somehow win, the Legislature would almost surely pass a law protecting abortion rights in the lame duck session, and Murphy would sign it into law before leaving office in January.
And even that charge at abortion rights is unlikely. Ciattarelli is losing badly at the starting line, weighed down by his support for President Trump in a state that gags at the name, and his failure to offer a compelling program of change.
The Texas decision makes his climb even steeper.