Trenton – Legislation (S-4103) sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, which would provide a supplemental appropriation of $9.5 million to the Department of Health for health care providers withdrawing from the federal Title X program, was introduced in the Senate yesterday.
Planned Parenthood announced that is has withdrawn from the Title X program after the 9th circuit ruled that the Trump-Pence administration’s ‘gag rule’ can take effect while litigation proceeds. The so-called gag rule establishes that Title X recipients cannot provide abortion referrals if they are to receive the federal funding.
“We can’t allow the health care of women in New Jersey to be held hostage by the Trump administration’s punishing and dangerous rules,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “Supporting service providers on the state level will give them the freedom to provide the best care possible, unequivocally and without compromise. No health care provider should have to choose between keeping their lights on and acting in their patient’s best interest.”
“The Trump-Pence administration is fundamentally anti-women,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “The women of New Jersey deserve the full breadth of health care, not the health care determined by this administration. I am glad the Legislature is stepping up, standing with women and supporting these essential health care providers so they can make the right decision for their patients.”
There are roughly 120 clinics that provide publicly supported contraceptive services in New Jersey and 45 of these receive Title X funding. These 45 providers served 110,000 patients in 2018, 77,000 (70%) by 22 Planned Parenthood centers.
In addition to the two prime sponsors, Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Troy Singleton are co-sponsors of the legislation.
“I’m proud that New Jersey is standing with Planned Parenthood and every other clinic in our state who works so hard to provide women’s healthcare and other core services,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “Now, it’s the Legislature’s turn to step in and make sure that Planned Parenthood can continue the critical work they do for women across our state each and every day.”
“I stand with Planned Parenthood and women across New Jersey against the changes being made by the federal government that will disproportionately affect lower income and women of color,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “The proposed restrictions on the Title X program will only increase the existing disparity in health outcomes between minority and non-minority women even further. For these reasons, the state must step up and protect the reproductive rights and health care of our most vulnerable women.”