New Jersey Budget Plan Mixed Bag for Health, Eliminates Family Planning Funds

By Rachel Walden |

In this difficult economy, many states are struggling to balance their budgets, often resulting in controversial decisions and cuts. Last month, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) released a 2011 budget plan for the state which continues to generate considerable discussion. An astute reader brought one line in particular to our attention from the proposed budget: “Funding for grants to support clinical family planning and related services is eliminated.”

A representative of the ACLU of New Jersey writes:

Without state funding next year, the centers would serve 40,000 fewer patients, leaving an already vulnerable population with even less. In the midst of a recession, these services are more critical than ever. The recently passed health care legislation may offer some assistance in the coming years, but it won’t keep the lights on in the only medical centers serving neighborhoods that need them the most.

A piece in the Daily Princetonian urges students to contact Christie about the proposed cuts, arguing that the cuts will lead to poorer health for both men and women, and already vulnerable populations, ultimately costing the state more: “These cuts are not just shortsighted, misogynistic and classist — they’re completely nonsensical. And they will result in devastating consequences for public health.”

What’s going on in your state’s budget related to women’s health? Let us know in the comments.

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