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For Immediate Release: June 15, 2017

Contact: Casey Olesko- [email protected], 201.647.5502

Planned Parenthood Supporters Rally to Restore Family Planning Funding
Just two weeks remain to override Governor Christie’s veto

TRENTON, NJ – Wearing hot pink t-shirts and buttons, Planned Parenthood supporters “pinked out” the State House today for a rally and lobby day to restore funding for family planning services to the state budget. With just two weeks left until the end of the legislative session, activists called on their elected officials to stand with Planned Parenthood and family planning providers across New Jersey to override Governor Christie and restore this essential funding.

“New Jerseyans rely on family planning services to lead healthy lives,” said Christine Sadovy, Legislative Director with Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey. “Family planning supporters across the state are calling on our legislators to do the right thing and vote this month to override Governor Christie and restore family planning funding in New Jersey.”

Today’s rally came just one day after new polling data was released by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute and the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers. The data showed that 78 percent of New Jersey registered voters support state funding for family planning services. Additionally, 84 percent of registered voters believe Medicaid should continue reimbursing Planned Parenthood for reproductive health and preventive care services – reimbursements which are under attack as Congress attempts to “defund” Planned Parenthood at the federal level.

This uncertainty around the federal health care landscape makes restoring state funding for family planning services even more essential. Every year, more than 90,000 individuals visit Planned Parenthood in New Jersey for a wide range of preventive reproductive health care services, such as lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, affordable birth control, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections including HIV.

The state funding for family planning services went towards this preventive care. Since the funding was eliminated from the state budget for the first time in 2010 by Governor Christie, New Jersey has felt the impact. Since 2009, the last year that state funding was provided, the number of cases of bacterial STDs have skyrocketed 35 percent state wide; in 11 out of New Jersey’s 21 counties, the increase has been nearly 50 percent or more. Although there has been a national increase in STDs, New Jersey’s increase predates the CDC-identified nationwide trend.

In addition, breast and cervical cancer cases have increased since 2009, with a disproportionate impact on communities of color.  Breast and cervical cancer cases increased 5.2 percent overall; 0.3 percent among white women, 6.6 percent among Black women, and an alarming 25.1 percent among Latinas. Inequity in health care access is linked to factors like income, and barriers like ability and time to go to a health care provider. This i]=s compounded when politicians place additional barriers to essential and lifesaving health care.

Speakers at today’s rally included Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt, Kate Clark of the Family Planning Association of New Jersey, Lizette Delgado of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, Loretta Winters of the NAACP of Gloucester County, Mandi Perlmutter of the National Council of Jewish Women – Essex County Section, and Dena Mottola Jaborska of New Jersey Citizen Action.

“Our supporters are making their voices heard,” said Sadovy. “Whether they are here rallying in Trenton or calling their legislators from home, they’re making their message heard loud and clear: we need family planning funding in New Jersey.”

Photos of the rally are available at https://www.facebook.com/pg/PPActionNJ/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10155503322960555, and a Facebook Live video of the rally is available at https://www.facebook.com/PPActionNJ/videos/10155503046610555/.