(3rd LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Assemblywoman Celeste Riley (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem) released the following statement Tuesday on Gov. Christie’s plan to eliminate funding for health care for women and newborns:

“Everyone agrees that spending cuts are a must, but we must make smart choices. Gov. Christie’s plan to eliminate health care programs for women and newborns, for instance, is a short-sighted move that will cost taxpayers dearly in the years to come.

“Cutting a program that saved taxpayers $150 million last year is not a smart choice. Even in the toughest economic times, we cannot turn our backs on crucial health care services for women and newborns that enhance public health and save taxpayer dollars.

“Family planning services involve contraception; gynecological exams; screening for high blood pressure, anemia and diabetes; breast and cervical cancer screening and education; screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections; HIV testing and counseling, pre-pregnancy counseling and education; pregnancy testing and confirmation and prenatal care.

“These programs are a smart investment in our communities. They save money and provide health care to women and newborns who otherwise wouldn’t receive any. They are both humane and fiscally responsible, yet Gov. Christie is taking us in the wrong direction.”

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