NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez and First Lady Tammy Murphy hosted a rally with Planned Parenthood and reproductive rights advocates to highlight what's at stake as the Supreme Court considers the controversial Texas law that has caused a virtual halt of safe and legal abortions in the state.
The group gathered at an old courthouse on Monday to decry the efforts to deny women access to abortions.
The Texas law, known as S.B.8, bans abortions after six weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest. The law also allows private citizens to sue doctors and anyone who "aids and abets" a woman seeking an abortion.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the two cases tied to S.B.8 last week.
In December, the Supreme Court is expected to hear the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, tied to Mississippi's unconstitutional law that could potentially overturn Roe v. Wade.
In September, Sen. Menendez signed a bicameral amicus brief urging SCOTUS to uphold Roe and protect the constitutional right to an abortion case.
"The threat to Roe v. Wade has never been graver. And that is why our commitment to reproductive rights must be stronger and louder and more unshakeable than ever," said Sen. Menendez. "It should not matter if you live in New Jersey or New York or Texas or Mississippi - the right to make private medical decisions is protected by the U.S. Constitution and belongs to every American."
Those joining the protests held signs supporting a woman's right to choose. They say restrictive abortion laws will mostly hurt poorer communities.
The hope is that lawmakers in New Jersey will pass the Reproductive Freedom Act and the governor will sign it into law.
The state's first lady says laws targeting a woman's right to choose are racist and expose the inequalities in health care.
"In New Jersey, we believe the question of whether or when to start a family is a personal one," said New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy. "Reckless new laws limiting or dismantling Roe v. Wade will only serve to endanger the health and safety of millions of people without wealth, privilege or power, and particularly women of color. When the Reproductive Freedom Act is sent to Governor Murphy's desk to be signed, we will be one step closer to a future that protects the health, dignity, and autonomy of every New Jerseyan."
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