New Jersey Democrats are celebrating that a new governor from their own party has agreed to sign off on a bill to allow taxpayer dollars to be used for family planning grants to Planned Parenthood.
“This day has been eight years in the making and today we are finally going to pass legislation that we can reasonably expect will be signed,” state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said prior to the 29-9 vote in the Senate to appropriate $7.5 million in taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood, reports NorthJersey.com.
Bill S120 is now before the state Assembly. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy – who replaced pro-life Republican Gov. Chris Christie – promised to sign the bill if it gets to his desk.
We are proud to announce that the Senate vote passed for the family planning funding bill! This was the first bill of the first voting session. Next stop is the Assembly floor vote! #PPActionNJ pic.twitter.com/lHOymhxu5g
— PlannedParenthoodNJ (@PPActionNJ) February 1, 2018
Each year of Christie’s administration, the Democrat-led legislature appropriated funding for Planned Parenthood, but the pro-life governor vetoed it, and redirected that funding to other federally qualified healthcare centers.
Murphy campaigned on restoring Planned Parenthood’s funding and received the abortion giant’s endorsement.
“It’s not just about getting things back to par and getting things back to where they were,” he said in August 2017. “It’s about reaching beyond that. We need to not only dig out of the Christie-Guadagno administration and the damage they’ve done to women’s health care, but also continue to push back against a hostile federal administration.”
Christine Sadovy, the legislative and political director for Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey, said at an Assembly committee hearing that six Planned Parenthood clinics were forced to close down over the last eight years under Christie’s tenure, resulting in an increase in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
“Eight long years ago, funding for these critical services was eliminated from the state, resulting in real-life impacts,” Sadovy said. “Thousands of patients lost access to health care.”
However, as NorthJersey.com reports, Donna Leusner, the state’s Department of Health (DOH) communications director, said DOH still spent $13 million for cancer screenings and prevention programs at hospitals and local health centers, and $5.7 million for STD testing and prevention at other clinics not associated with Planned Parenthood.