TRENTON – Senator Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth) today issued the following statement in response to the passage of S-120, which appropriates $7.5 million for family planning services, and S-105, which expands Medicaid coverage for family planning services to individuals with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Senator Gopal is a co-sponsor of both bills:
“For the past eight years, New Jersey has been negatively affected by preventing residents’ access to women’s health care. These affects include: more people in the state being diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections, more women, particularly women of color, having been diagnosed with breast and cervical cancer while restricting them access to proper care, and less young people having access to sex education.
“This is not only responsible health policy, but is a smart fiscal policy for the state. I am proud to support these bills and look forward to their becoming law.
“When women succeed, we all succeed.”
The supplemental appropriation of $7.5 million for family planning services was cut from the budget by former Governor Chris Christie starting in FY 2011 and attempts to restore the funding were vetoed. As a part of the Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid expansion separately allowed for the expansion of Medicaid coverage towards family planning services to individuals with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level; while the state expanded Medicaid coverage, it failed to expand Medicaid coverage for family planning services.