Recognizing that untended pregnancies can negatively affect maternal and child health outcomes because they do not always allow sufficient time for preconception healthcare, legislation that encourages the Department of Health (DOH) to establish a “My Life, My Plan” program was signed into law Friday.
As per the law, (formerly bill A-4938), the health commissioner will develop programs and resources that encourage health care providers, community health workers and healthcare facilities to support women in developing a reproductive life plan; to integrate the reproductive life plan into their patient medical records; and to ensure that consultations, treatment and other services provided to each woman are consistent with her reproductive life plan.
The Assembly Democrats who sponsored the legislation, Cleopatra Tucker (D-Essex), Nancy Pinkin (D-Middlesex) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), issued the following joint statement:
“This law will help women develop a reproductive life plan that best suits their individual needs based on their personal values, career choices and financial goals. As the plan calls for online educational materials and tools, it will provide a means for women to access resources that can help guide some of the most important decisions of their lives.
“As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, reproductive life plans can help promote planned, healthy pregnancies and lead to positive birth outcomes. This will result in better physical and mental well-being for women, men and infants.”