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March 20, 2019

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

U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman joins Planned Parenthood New Jersey to “Protect X”

Title X roundtable kicks off series of conversations with lawmakers

TRENTON, NJ – Today, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey hosted a roundtable discussion, with U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson, on the harmful impacts of the Trump-Pence administration’s new Title X gag rule. Nearly two dozen Planned Parenthood staff, patients, and women’s health advocates attended the event, which was part of the kickoff of the national “Protect X” campaign. The round tables and the Protect X campaign are helping to raise awareness about the dangers of the Title X gag rule, which threatens New Jerseyans’ access to birth control, STI testing and other essential reproductive health care.

“This is an attack on women, especially women of color,” said U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman. “It is a back-end run on a health care organization that provides millions of low-income Americans with quality health care. Most importantly, it’s unnecessary, medically ill-advised, and risks access to care, to birth control, to a healthy life for millions of people. The Title X gag rule is unconscionable, and we must do everything we can to protect women’s access to care.”

During the round table discussion, participants were not only able to learn about the potential impact of the gag rule, they were able share their concerns about the attacks. The gag rule includes language specifically designed to block patients from coming to Planned Parenthood, threatening their health, their rights, and their lives.

“Cutting Title X funding could cut off my access to information about all of the reproductive health services available to me,” said Lex Thompson, a student from Rowan University. “It would mean that students like me would lose access to affordable services. That’s going to put my health at risk and increase my chances of an unintended pregnancy.”

Title X ensures that every person — regardless of who they are, where they live, how much money they make, or whether they’re insured — has access to basic reproductive health services. In New Jersey, more than 70 percent of the patients served by Title X received care at a Planned Parenthood health center. 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.

“The gag rule targets women who live in underserved communities and already face obstacles to accessing health care,” said Kaitlyn Wojtowicz, Legislative and Political Director of Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey. “We’re standing strong in face of these attacks; Planned Parenthood is committed to providing the care patients need — no matter what.”

Photos and video of the event are available at https://www.facebook.com/PPActionNJ/.