A New Jersey bill just passed through the Senate budget committee, and if it continues making its way through the state legislature, Planned Parenthood stands to pocket $9.5 million. That is a sizable increase from earlier this year, when the bill was first being considered; then, the amount considered was $8.8 million. This is in addition to the $10.5 million in state funding that the abortion corporation already receives.
Part of the reason for the funding increase is due to the Trump administration’s new Title X requirements, which caused many Planned Parenthood affiliates — including those in New Jersey — to opt out of receiving funding. The new requirements mandate that recipient organizations separate, physically and financially, abortion services from family planning services, and they must no longer refer for abortions. Recipients are also required to report instances of sexual abuse of minors to police — something Planned Parenthood tends not to do. According to a previous Live Action News report, 87 percent of Title X facilities nationwide are not Planned Parenthood affiliates.
Planned Parenthood has slammed these changes as a “gag rule,” and chose to withdraw from Title X rather than cease committing abortions.
Kaitlyn Wojtowicz, Vice President of Public Affairs with Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey, released a statement applauding New Jersey lawmakers for the bill, even though it hasn’t passed yet. “We thank the Senate Budget Committee for standing up for Planned Parenthood’s patients, who need and deserve affordable reproductive health care. New Jersey has a strong history of supporting reproductive rights and is a national leader on this issue,” she said, adding, “Planned Parenthood stands with other medical professionals in our opposition to the gag rule. Prestigious, major medical organizations — including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association — have determined that the gag rule is medically unethical and compromises patient care. It is now up to the full Senate to take action and protect patients’ access to care.”
In addition to the funding increase for Planned Parenthood, the bill would require some health care insurers to cover the cost of contraceptives — even if they have religious objections. “Contraception was named as one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Sen. Teresa Ruiz, who sponsored the bill, said in a statement. “That was 20 years ago; whether or not insurance plans cover contraceptives shouldn’t be a question today.”
Before the bill can be presented to Governor Murphy to be signed, it must pass the full Senate. Murphy has signaled his support for the contraceptive portion of the bill, but not the funding portion. The bill could be voted on by the full Senate as soon as December 16th.
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