Lawmakers approved a bill to pump $9.5 million into Planned Parenthood in New Jersey, and its affiliate groups, to make up for the money they are losing by pulling out of the federal Title X funding program.
In August, Planned Parenthood announced the decision to pull out of the federal program after the Trump administration unveiled a gag rule outlawing health care providers participating in Title X from telling patients about how or where to access abortions.
The ruling was widely criticized by state and Congressional Democratic lawmakers, as well as women’s health advocates, who accused U.S. President Donald Trump of making the decision solely to appeal to his far-right Christian base of supporters.
Under Assembly Bill 5802, the state would allocate money to family health services within the Department of Health, which would in turn dole out the grant dollars to participating family planning organizations and health centers.
That money would have to come out of the state’s $1.2 billion surplus via an appropriations bill, according to Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District, though only $875 million of it is not restricted by the rainy day fund.
Lawmakers approved the measure at the Assembly Appropriations Committee Thursday meeting, with Republican members voting against it or abstaining.
“The ‘gag rule’ is a direct attack on Planned Parenthood and our patients — and New Jerseyans will pay the price unless the Legislature takes action,” Kaitlyn Wojtowicz, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey Inc., said in a written statement.
“Here in New Jersey, patients must be able to continue to access the reproductive health care services they need and deserve,” Wojtowicz added.