Sweeney Concerned $9.5 Million For Family Planning Services Could Be In Jeopardy

Sweeney: ‘Executive Order 73 Must End’

Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senator Troy Singleton allocating $9.5 million for family planning services was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy today, providing support to Planned Parenthood and other providers targeted by the Trump Administration’s “gag rule.”

“I applaud the Governor for signing this law to protect the rights of women to maintain access to affordable health care, including services for family planning. However, as long as Executive Order 73 is in effect funding for the protection of women’s health is uncertain,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “The ‘gag rule’ was another attempt to deny doctors and other medical professionals the ability to provide their best advice and the best care to their patients, but the executive order has been denying funding for cancer patients and as long as it is in effect it could hinder funding for women’s health services.

“The women of New Jersey deserve the best health care that Planned Parenthood and other clinics can provide, just as cancer patients seeking services in South Jersey do,” Senator Sweeney argued. “The Trump Administration wants to employ a gag rule to impose restrictions that are harmful to women, but Governor Murphy is providing lip service as long as the executive order remains in effect.”

Executive Order 73 put a freeze on $235 million in spending approved by the Legislature and the Governor, with vague language about appropriations that has jeopardized some programs, including the state’s vote by mail program.

“The executive order was never necessary, and revenues have continued to exceed expectations.  The order has already resulted in the extermination of the state’s vote by mail program, delayed higher educational opportunities for New Jersey’s college students, and put services for cancer patients at risk. This unnecessary executive order must be rescinded to ensure women are not denied access to these crucial health care services,” Senator Sweeney said.

State revenues have increased by more than 10 percent above last year, far exceeding the six-tenths of one percent annual projection by the administration.