Assemblywoman Mosquera Bill to Restore Funding for Women’s Health Care Signed into Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Gabriela Mosquera to restore state funding for family planning centers was signed into law on Wednesday.

The law (A-2134) provides $7,453,000 for the current fiscal year in supplemental funding for women’s health care grants through the state Department of Health.

Despite being funded in every state budget since 1970, Governor Christie routinely eliminated the $7.4 million appropriation for women’s health care services in the state budget every year of his tenure. Assembly Democrats repeatedly attempted to restore the funding only to have it vetoed by Christie. By signing this legislation into law on Wednesday, Governor Murphy was able to direct this funding back to family planning centers throughout the state.

The sponsors noted that in 2009 this funding helped support life-saving services for over 136,000 patients, including cancer screenings, birth control, prevention and treatment of STIs, breast health services, Pap tests and other health screenings. As a direct result of Christie’s cuts, six out of 58 women’s health and family planning centers closed while other health centers had to cut back staff or hours. In 2013, New Jersey’s family planning providers saw at least 37,000 fewer patients compared with 2009 – a 27 percent drop in patients served.

First and foremost, this appropriation provides critical healthcare services for women and children. But beyond that, it also saves taxpayer dollars that would otherwise be spent treating women and children in hospital emergency rooms after they have become seriously ill – a situation that should be avoided at all costs.

The sponsors noted that the legislation expressly prohibits the funding from being used towards abortion services.