U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., New Jersey's only member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, today reacted harshly to reports that nearly 900 women's health clinics are now without federal funding because of the Trump administration's domestic gag rule for organizations receiving Title X funds. New Jersey's two Planned Parenthood chapters have withdrawn from the Title X program, forgoing $8.8 million in federal funds.
"These shocking reports are the direct and intended result of the Trump administration's war on women's health," said Rep. Pascrell. "Federal funding of family planning is a staple in New Jersey. Our state alone is home to 45 Title X-funded health centers, 22 of which are operated by Planned Parenthood, which provide critical services for thousands of women. This move will have an especially harsh impact on women of color and those in need. Trump and Republicans must end their relentless assault on women's health care. In the meantime, I am proud that New Jersey's government under Gov. Murphy and our state legislature plan to step in to protect and preserve women's health options by providing state funding."
In reaction to the implantation of the domestic gag rule, the New Jersey State Legislature outlined its intent to provide $9M in state funding for Title X-funding health clinics. In 2018, Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey (PPNCSNJ) saw more than 57,000 patients who benefitted from Title X dollars. Together, New Jersey's two Planned Parenthood affiliates see over 70 percent of all Title X patients in the state. Due to systemic barriers, women of color are served by the Title X program at higher rates than white women. Of PPNCSNJ's patients in 2018, 34 percent identified as Latino, and 25 percent identified as African American. Ninety percent of PPNCSNJ patients live with an annual income below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level -- roughly $37,650 total per year for a family of four. Planned Parenthood was the sole Title X provider in 13 New Jersey counties in 2018. Without Planned Parenthood, all other Title X-funded sites in New Jersey would have to increase their contraceptive client caseloads by 254 percent to serve the women who currently obtain birth control from Planned Parenthood health centers.
Title X is the nation's only federally-funded family planning program. The Trump Gag Rule directly undermines health care access for the four million vulnerable women, men, and children who rely on Title X-funded health centers for basic preventive health care, including cancer screenings, birth control, sexually transmitted infection screenings, pregnancy testing, and well-woman exams.
Rep. Pascrell uses his position on the powerful Ways and Means Committee to offer unceasing support for a woman's right to choose. Pascrell lambasted the Trump administration's decision to implement its domestic gag rule in August of this year. Pascrell also regularly advocates for increased funding for family planning and education and supports prevention-focused legislation. He is also a cosponsor of H.R. 2975, the Women's Health Protection Act, which protects a woman's ability to determine whether and when to bear a child or end a pregnancy, and guards health care providers' ability to provide reproductive health care services.