The New Jersey state senator who represents Middlesex and Mercer counties joined other Democratic legislators this week supporting Planned Parenthood’s decision to reject Title X funding.
Sen. Linda Greenstein along with Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland, and Sens. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, and Troy Singleton, D-Burlington, pledged to restore funding for reproductive care in a challenge to President Donald Trump’s “gag rule.”
The gag rule makes it illegal for health provides that received federal Title X funding from providing information about abortions and other restrictions.
Planned Parenthood’s decision means it will forfeit $60 million in annual federal funding for low-income women’s reproductive health care. However, it means it can continue providing the services without having to follow the gag rule.
Its withdrawal from the program is seen as a win for President Trump and conservatives who have been seeking to diminish Planned Parenthood’s operations.
“This is an attack on reproductive health care that threatens providers like Planned Parenthood from serving their patients,” said Greenstein. “They are trying to force expert health-care providers out of our nation’s program for affordable birth control. But, we won’t be bullied.”
According to the joint release, Title X was created with bipartisan support decades ago. The state currently receives $8.3 million in funding from the program, according to the release. Funding helps to provide birth control, cancer screenings, annual exams, and other health care services to low-income women.
“The women of New Jersey deserve the health care Planned Parenthood and other women’s health clinics provide, without exception or stipulation,” Weinberg said. “I know the Legislature and Governor will immediately stand behind and help fund these essential health care providers so they can make the right decision for their patients.”
Statewide, 45 clinics received Title X funding. Planned Parenthood “was the sole Title X provider,” the release stated, for 13 counties, with 86 percent of its patients earning wages below the federal poverty line. In Middlesex County, there is a Planned Parenthood clinic in New Brunswick and Perth Amboy.
“We will continue to fight on behalf of all Planned Parenthood patients, who deserve the best information and health care available and deserve to make their own personal medical decisions,” said Kaitlyn Wojtowicz, Legislative and Political Director with Planned Parenthood Action Fund of NJ. “Access to lifesaving reproductive health care services should not depend on the state or the zip code that you live in.”