Proposed Rules to Enhance Access to Reproductive Care and Repeal Outdated Restrictions

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The State Board of Medical Examiners published a rule proposal that, if adopted, will expand access to reproductive health care and repeal outdated regulations that place medically unwarranted restrictions on abortion in New Jersey.

The publication in the New Jersey Register follows the Board’s unanimous vote in September 2020 to propose several changes to its regulations to remove barriers to care that do not offer corresponding health benefits.

Key aspects of the proposed new rule, amendments, and repeal include:

  • repealing the Termination of Pregnancy rule, N.J.A.C. 13:35-4.2, that singles out abortion care for targeted regulation by, among other things, requiring that all terminations of pregnancy be performed only by a physician, and barring office-based terminations beyond 14 weeks gestation;
  • clearing the path for Advanced Practice Nurses, Physician Assistants, and Certified Nurse Midwives and Certified Midwives to perform early aspiration terminations of pregnancy (in addition to medication-based termination of pregnancy, which is already permitted) and clarifying that these providers are authorized to provide miscarriage treatment; and
  • updating the regulations to integrate reproductive care within the generally applicable rules designed to ensure the safety of patients who undergo surgery or special procedures in an office setting.

Members of the public are invited to provide input on the proposal during a 60-day comment period.

The Board’s proposal is now subject to public comment. The proposed rules, amendments, repeal, and information on how to submit a comment by March 5, 2021, can be viewed here.

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