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Now Law: Greenwald, Downey, Johnson & Quijano Bill to Support NJ Family Planning Providers Opting Out of Title X Funding

In response to the announcement of Planned Parenthood pulling out of Title X due to the limitations placed on their services under the Trump Administration’s “gag rule,” legislation to provide additional support for centers dealing with the loss of federal funding was signed into law Thursday by Governor Phil Murphy.

““The Title X ‘gag rule’ has forced family planning service providers, like Planned Parenthood, to withdraw from the federal program in order to protect the quality of patient care it delivers to millions of women and low-income families across the state and the nation,” said Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington). “The funding deficit— if the state did not step in to fill the gap— would have had a significant negative impact on New Jersey’s family planning and women’s health services’ day-to-day operations and the health of women in our state. We stand with Planned Parenthood and other family planning services that have provided extraordinary care to New Jerseyans for decades.”

Planned Parenthood is New Jersey’s largest provider serving 72 percent of the patients in the state.

The new law (formerly bill A-5802), also sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joann Downey, Gordon Johnson and Annette Quijano, provides 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.

“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 would have also meant access to healthcare for thousands of women in New Jersey would be significantly diminished. It would have been far more difficult for women – especially women of color – to find the resources they need to make informed decisions about their health. This gag rule is a blatant attack on women’s rights.”

“We in New Jersey understand the importance of access to care; that’s why the Legislature restored funding for family planning and women’s health services in the State budget in the past two fiscal years,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “We must keep fighting for equal access to healthcare for all women, starting with ensuring Planned Parenthood and other providers have the tools they need to continue providing quality care.”

“Many low-income women rely on family planning clinics for regular check-ups, care before and after pregnancy, cancer screenings, HIV testing and many other health concerns,” said Quijano (D-Union). “Restricting access to family planning centers would have left some women with nowhere to turn. The funding allocated in this law is vital to make sure quality healthcare centers like Planned Parenthood are able to keep their doors open.”

The law was approved by the full Assembly in November, 49-21. It passed the Senate in December, 25-15.