Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen) today questioned the motives of all nine women in the Assembly Republican caucus who failed to support critical funding for women’s health in this year’s budget. The legislation (S2139/A-3019), which was vetoed by Governor Christie on Friday, failed to receive a veto-proof majority in the Assembly, in part, because all nine women of the Republican caucus either voted “no” or abstained from taking a stance on the legislation.
“How anyone, particularly a woman, could vote against providing these services is beyond me. My mother succumbed to breast cancer and I also had a scare at a very young age that required a mammogram. We were both fortunate, however, that we had health insurance. For the thousands of women in this state who don’t, we are cutting off access to screenings and essentially limiting their chances for survival.
“Last year, while serving nearly 140,000 patients, family planning centers throughout New Jersey provided breast examinations to over 70,000 women and pap tests to more than 65,000 women. Overall, they provided critical care to more than 97,000 women and men without health insurance who would otherwise have very few alternatives for treatment.
“When you consider the fact that women outnumber men in this state, and yet we represent just a small voting bloc in the legislature, it’s absolutely critical that we stand together on issues of importance to all women. I am beyond saddened that my female counterparts in the Assembly Republican caucus failed to recognize the importance of early detection services and ensuring that all women have access to it.