Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor-Marin said comments by fellow Assembly Budget Committee member Declan O’Scanlon during Monday’s Assembly Budget Committee hearing with the State Health Department are indicative of the out-of-touch approach that Republicans have taken in defending cuts to women’s health services.
Pintor Marin represents Newark where many low-income women utilize family planning centers for routine health services. O’Scanlon, who represents towns including Holmdel, Middletown and Rumson, commented that his district office has not once received a call from a woman who could not find the health services she needed since Gov. Christie began eliminating funding for women’s health centers six years ago.
“Assemblyman O’Scanlon is not only out-of-touch with the diversity of New Jersey’s landscape, but essentially he’s saying that it’s perfectly acceptable if a woman has to jump through a million bureaucratic hurdles to access healthcare.
“We know for a fact that at least six women’s health clinics have closed since Gov. Christie began eliminating this funding and others have been forced to scale back their hours. This has had a demonstrable impact on low-income women who rely on these clinics for routine health services because my office has received numerous calls from women looking for help finding replacement services.
“While we may have been successful in helping redirect many of these women to the services they desperately need, that doesn’t account for the many women who have not reached out to us who are left to fend for themselves, unsure of whether there are alternative sources of health care.
“This is the type of rhetoric that has been used by Republicans across the country in justifying their decisions to limit access to women’s health centers for ideological reasons.”