Assembly Approves Downey Bill Restoring Funds for Women's Healthcare

This week, the Assembly approved legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Joann Downey that would provide additional support for women's healthcare clinics who are dealing with a loss of federal funding due to a "gag rule" placed by the Trump administration  restricting access to Title X funding for such centers.

“The Trump administration’s gag rule on Title X funding forced Planned Parenthood and other healthcare providers to make an impossible choice: deny female patients access to health services, or withdraw from the program and lose funding that is absolutely vital to its operations,” said Downey (D-Monmouth).

“Planned Parenthood chose to prioritize the needs of women in refusing to abide by this immoral gag rule, but it will also mean access to healthcare for thousands of women in New Jersey will be significantly diminished. It will become far more difficult for women – especially women of color – to find the resources they need to make informed decisions about their health.

"If the federal government won’t do it, it’s time for New Jersey to step in and make sure that every woman can continue to receive essential services like pap smears, STI treatments, and pregnancy counseling. I was proud to be a sponsor of New Jersey’s legislation fully funding women’s healthcare services, and I’ll keep fighting to make sure that Planned Parenthood and every New Jersey family planning provider have all the support they need to perform this critical work.”

The bill (A-5802) would provide a $9.5 million supplemental appropriation for distribution by the New Jersey Department of Health to only those providers who lost funding due to the revised federal regulations under Title X. Planned Parenthood is New Jersey’s largest provider, serving 72 percent of the patients in the state.

The bill now goes to the Senate for a vote.

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