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August 21, 2019

Contact: Casey Olesko 973-775-2781 / [email protected]


NJ Elected Officials Stand with Planned Parenthood in Opposition to Gag Rule

Trump administration’s gag rule forces providers to withhold information from patients

TRENTON, NJ – Two days after Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country announced their forced withdrawal from the federal Title X program due to the Trump-Pence administration’s harmful gag rule, some of New Jersey’s champions for reproductive health care voiced their support for the organization and their continued opposition to the medically unethical mandate.

Speakers at today’s event included Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Senator Troy Singleton, Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds Jackson, Planned Parenthood patient advocate Mariel, and Kaitlyn Wojtowicz of Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey. Statements from these speakers and others are included below.

The Trump administration is forcing Planned Parenthood and other providers out of the national program for birth control and reproductive health care – Title X – through an unethical gag rule. The gag rule makes it illegal for health care providers in the Title X program to tell patients how or where to access abortion. Planned Parenthood has been in the program since it was created nearly 50 years ago, and has been the largest provider, serving 40 percent of all Title X patients nationally. Here in New Jersey, more than 70 percent of the 100,000 patients served by Title X received care at a Planned Parenthood health center operated by one of the state’s two Planned Parenthood affiliates, Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey and Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey. Planned Parenthood was the sole Title X provider in 13 New Jersey counties in 2018. Without Planned Parenthood, all other Title X-funded sites in New Jersey would have to increase their contraceptive client caseloads by 254 percent to serve the women who currently obtain birth control from Planned Parenthood health centers.

Quote from Kaitlyn Wojtowicz, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of NJ:

“In New Jersey, Planned Parenthood’s health center doors are open today, and they will be open tomorrow – but the future remains uncertain. We will continue to fight on behalf of all Planned Parenthood patients, who deserve the best information and health care available and deserve to make their own personal medical decisions. Access to lifesaving reproductive health care services should not depend on the state or the zip code that you live in.”

Quote from Governor Phil Murphy:

“Access to women’s health care and family planning resources are critical for New Jersey’s women and families,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “As the Trump Administration continues its war on women, we will stand firmly alongside Planned Parenthood and all of our partners in ensuring that women’s health care is accessible, affordable, and available.”

Quote from Senator Cory Booker:

“The Trump Administration’s unethical gag rule will severely undermine the health care that nearly 100,000 patients in New Jersey receive. And those hardest hit by this decision will be women and people of color and those of low incomes. Planned Parenthood New Jersey is doing incredible work to provide basic health care and family planning services for tens of thousands of patients across the state and it’s a travesty that those services may be sharply curtailed because of this administration’s penchant for playing politics with women’s reproductive health,” Senator Booker said. In July, Booker joined a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar calling on the Trump Administration to reverse the harmful new gag rule.

Quote from Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman:

“This is a disaster for millions of Americans who rely on Planned Parenthood for basic health care and access to birth control. The only reason we’ve reached this point is the Trump administration’s gag rule. From the beginning this rule has been a back-end run on Planned Parenthood, targeting their services and turning a blind eye to the basic fact that tax dollars have not now and not ever been used for abortion. It’s already illegal, period. What the administration has won in forcing Planned Parenthood out is the loss of care for the communities that have relied on having a Planned Parenthood center they can go to — African Americans, Latinx, and others who already lack options in care. What’s worse is that other providers will follow. Make no mistake — from attacks on the ACA, to efforts to take away birth control this administration is actively erasing affordable healthcare options that working families need.”

Quote from Senate President Stephen Sweeney:

“Doctors should be able to tell their patients whatever they feel is in their best interest, including recommendations for where to seek further care. It is unethical for the federal government to leverage funding to prevent doctors from sharing certain information with their patients,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “I commend Planned Parenthood for standing tall and sacrificing funding in order to stay true to their values. I promise the Legislature will ensure that all women’s health care facilities opting out of Title X funding will be able to maintain their level of care for those in need in New Jersey.”

Quote from Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg:

“The Trump-Pence administration is fundamentally anti-women,” said Senate Majority Leader Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen). “They have bullied their way through life on white-male supremacy and I am proud to see Planned Parenthood refuse to be manhandled. The women of New Jersey deserve the health care Planned Parenthood and other women’s health clinics provide, without exception or stipulation. I know the Legislature and Governor will immediately stand behind and help fund these essential health care providers so they can make the right decision for their patients.”

Quote from Senator Troy Singleton:

“This move by the Trump administration is the latest salvo in its continuing war on women’s health care, which will be disproportionately shouldered by lower income and women of color," said Senator Troy Singleton. "As the majority of women in the Title X program are either Black or Hispanic, the proposed restrictions on this program will only increase the existing disparity in health outcomes even further. We have to stand together to repudiate this action and ensure that women’s reproductive freedoms and health care will never be compromised."


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