New Jersey Governor Signs Women's Health Law

Kasotia and Brooks

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy today signed a bill restoring $7.45 million in funding to Planned Parenthood and other women's health facilities.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced three new cabinet appointees on Tuesday, making history in the Garden State. "I'm excited that Governor Murphy recognizes and understands the increasing necessity of higher education in today's society and am looking forward to building out his vision to make learning after high school more affordable and accessible for residents of New Jersey of all ages and backgrounds". "New Jersey is showing the rest of the country how it's done when you put women's health first".

Murphy also signed a related bill (S-105) that would expand Medicaid eligibility to women for family planning services.

During his two terms, Christie vetoed bills from the Democratic-controlled legislature that would have provided funding to Planned Parenthood, cutting off funds shortly after taking office in 2010.

Christie cut the yearly appropriation to family planning clinics for each of the last eight years.

Marie Tasy, the executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, an anti-abortion group, said the language in the bill banning use of the funds for abortions was "deceptive".

"I've vetoed funding for Planned Parenthood, and if I were president of the United States I would do exactly the same", Christie told voters in SC in 2015. Six of 58 family planning clinics in New Jersey have closed since the funding was cut, according to Planned Parenthood. She described their conversation ahead of the bill signing: "Governor Murphy said 'Are you ready to roll?' And I said, 'I've been ready to roll for eight years, '" Weinberg, D-Bergen, said. In his veto statements, for example, Christie pointed to budgeted spending on preventive health measures such as the New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection Program, which funds mammograms, pap smears and prostate exams.

The bill signing took place inside Trenton's War Memorial across from the Statehouse, where more than 100 people, many donning pink shirts and pink Planned Parenthood pins, gave the new governor a standing ovation.

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