Yesterday the New Jersey Senate passed a bill by a vote of 26 to 13 that would restore $7.5 million to the state’s 58 women’s health clinics. Last year, Governor Chris Christie (R) cut all family planning funding from the state’s budget and vetoed the attempts of the state Senate and Assembly to restore it. The Senate bill will now move to the state Assembly for a vote.
Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck), who is sponsoring the bill, stated that six clinics have closed since Governor Chris Christie (R) cut funding last year. Weinberg stated, “Either you are for underserved women having access to proper health care, primary care physicians and yes, birth control, (or you’re not). We are in the second decade of the 21st century. The fight over poor women’s access to birth control I thought was finished a few generations ago.”
Governor Christie said that he believes that Weinberg “is mischaracterizing women’s access to health care,” claiming that since women already have access to federally funded clinics, state funding is not necessary. Nevertheless, Christie announced that he would consider the bill as part of a larger budget deal.