In a significant victory for reproductive rights, New Jersey's Democratic General Assembly voted on Thursday to restore the $7.5 million that was cut from New Jersey's Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics by former Republican Gov. Chris Christie—cuts that forced 10 percent of Planned Parenthood facilities in the state to close.
As The Hill notes, "Christie cut the funds shortly after taking office in 2010, saying the state could not afford the services. However, when running for president, Christie said he cut the funds to Planned Parenthood and other clinics because he's 'pro-life.'"
The New Jersey State Senate passed the bill (pdf) to reverse Christie's cuts earlier this month. Christie's successor, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to sign the legislation into law as early as next week.
"Access to preventative screenings, routine exams and low-cost birth control are often scarce in many communities, but particularly so since the Christie administration cut funding for women's health, forcing the closure of a number of women's health centers throughout the state," Democratic Assemblywoman Joann Downey, one of the bill's sponsors, said in a statement on Thursday. "Now we finally have the chance to make good on our promise to restore this funding once and for all."
New Jersey's vote to reverse Christie's damaging cuts comes just days after Planned Parenthood announced that it is launching a nationwide offensive aimed at fighting for good policies, not just pushing back against the bad ones.
"Today, we're going on the offense. We've been marching, mobilizing, and organizing—and now we're channeling that into real policy change," Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood's executive vice president, said in a statement on Tuesday. "Everyone deserves the freedom and opportunity to control their lives at the most basic level, including access to birth control, quality sex education, and safe, legal abortion."