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Speaker Coughlin: Assembly to Quickly Move to Restore Women’s Health Care
Bills Will Be Heard Monday by Assembly Health Panel
One Restores Funding to State Budget; Another Provides Medicaid Coverage
(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin on Wednesday announced an Assembly committee on Monday will advance legislation to restore women’s health care funding to the state budget and expand access to quality health care to women and their families.
Coughlin (D-Middlesex) has made improving access to quality health care for women and their families a top priority. The Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee will consider the legislation at 10 a.m. Monday, he said.
“These women’s health bills will be among the first we advance this year for a reason – the priorities we chose show our values and character,” Coughlin said. “The elimination of this funding led to the closing of centers that provide women’s health services and a reduction in the availability of such services – both unacceptable. Improving the health and wellbeing of women and their children is right and compassionate, but it’s also fiscally responsible. A healthier New Jersey helps make a more affordable New Jersey.”
Despite being funded in every state budget since 1970, Gov. Christie annually cut $7.5 million for women’s health care from the state budget. The services covered by the funding included OB/GYN services; physical examinations; cancer, diabetes and blood pressure screenings; and STD prevention and treatment. In 2009 this funding helped support life-saving services for over 136,000 patients.
During Christie’s tenure, Democrats made annual attempts to restore the funding, but Christie vetoed each effort. He also vetoed efforts to obtain federal matching funds for women’s health care.
The bills to be considered Monday would:
“Now, more than ever, we should be standing up for working-class families in this state,” Coughlin said. “Ensuring women have access to quality health care means healthier families and less strain on our health care system, if we catch health problems early when they can be more successfully treated. This is the smart thing to do for so many reasons, and I’m thrilled that we’re finally able to steer New Jersey back in the right direction.”
Nearly eight years after Republican Gov. Chris Christie eliminated $7.5 million in state grants to support family planning and women’s health clinics, Democratic state lawmakers took the first step Monday to reinstate the money.
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who has been on the job for less than a week, has said he will sign the legislation that Christie vetoed numerous times throughout his tenure.
“The loss of funding for family planning eight years ago had a devastating impact on access to care for women and families in New Jersey, with the closure of six family planning centers,” state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, said after the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee approved her bill, (S120).
“We made it a priority to put this bill on the governor’s desk early in the legislative session so that we can begin the process of restoring access to services as soon as possible,” Weinberg said. “All residents deserve access to family planning and preventive services, and I look forward to seeing these measures signed into law.”
Since 2010, Christie has successfully trimmed the $7.5 million in women’s healthcare funding, mostly with vetoes. He first argued that the funding was “duplicative” and that the state couldn’t afford it, but said during his presidential bid in 2015 that cut reflected his socially conservative values.
Planned Parenthood was among the clinics that received the money, although the clinics are barred from using it directly to fund abortions.
“It is both irresponsible and unconscionable that Senate and Assembly leaders and Governor Murphy are moving full steam ahead to force New Jersey taxpayers to fund Planned Parenthood, an organization that is currently under investigation by the FBI for the illegal sale of baby body parts,” Tasy said.
Tasy referred to a published report last month that said the Justice Department had asked for documents from its investigation of Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue practices. Planned Parenthood stopped accepting payment for post-abortive fetal tissue in 2015, after an anti-abortion group surreptitiously recorded clinic officials discussing the practice.
The Senate committee also approved a related bill (S105) extending Medicaid eligibility to women with slightly higher-income levels than most Medicaid recipients. The bill was approved in a vote of 6 to 1 with one abstention.
Six of 58 family planning clinics closed following the budget cut, according to a 2011 report by the Family Planning Association of New Jersey.
The clinics served 131,000 patients in 2010, providing routine gynecological exams, birth control products, health, cancer and sexually transmitted disease screenings, HIV and pregnancy testing and pre-pregnancy counseling, according to the report.
Hundreds of people gathered in front of the Statehouse courtyard annex in Trenton Monday to mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, 45 years ago.
The rally organized by the New Jersey Right to Life group was held three days after the nationwide anti-abortion rally in Washington, D.C., which included a visit and speech from President Donald Trump.
Leaders, elected officials, and clergy aligned with the anti-abortion movement addressed the crowd as they held signs distributed by the organization.
Father Peter West, an associate pastor at St. John’s Catholic Church in Orange, kicked off the rally with a prayer.
Marie Tasy, New Jersey Right to Life, executive director, praised Trump and former Gov. Chris Christie for their support of the movement. Tasy pointed out that Christie was the state’s first anti-abortion governor.
“We will work to make sure that he won’t be our last,” she said.
The theme of the march this year was ‘Love Saves Lives.’
“Ours is a movement of love and hope,” she said. “It’s why we continue to call for the overturning of this tragic decision.”
“You matter because of who you are. You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can , not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.”
– Dame Cicely Saunders, Physician, nurse, social worker, and founder of the modern hospice
As a physician watching assisted suicide go from public policy to “medical” practice here in California, I see my own patients with chronic, life threatening illnesses as, perhaps inadvertent, but vulnerable targets of this dangerous legislation. The experience of depression in the context of terminal illness is everywhere. I am grateful to our own Congressman here in Orange, Lou Correa, for standing up for those who end up with less choice under the law by cosponsoring bipartisan legislation in D.C. that outlines these dangers. This is in gratitude to the 12 cosponsors of this bill, 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans, coming together to do something right.
On such a nuanced, deeply personal, and human issue, I resist the stop-at-nothing political campaign to legalize physician-assisted suicide precisely because the basis of palliative care medicine within the hospice context is to help you live until you die naturally. As the American Cancer Society states: “The hospice philosophy accepts death as the final stage of life: it affirms life and neither hastens nor postpones death.” In 2017, there are means to address and alleviate physical, emotional and existential pain. As a palliative care physician at the forefront of the field, I can assure you, many patients even here in Orange County, do not have access to these resources. It is a travesty that we put suicide on the table as “medical treatment” paid for by state Medicaid dollars, helping vulnerable people kill themselves, forcing them to choose between death, care, pain, and debt. Some might say that the majority of those choosing doctor assisted suicide are on hospice or palliative care, therefore, it cannot be sufficient for the needs of the dying. Please be advised: not all hospices or palliative programs are the same. There is a vast difference in philosophy and care among over 100 hospice providers in Orange County. And of the palliative services provided, they are not standardized! As a palliative care physician, for proponents to suggest that we must erase the sufferers to erase their suffering seems more like a political scare tactic than sound medicine. We should be utilizing our energy and resources instead on improving the quality of care for those at the end of life.
I feel deeply for the suffering and the dying and their families – I have dedicated my professional life to their care. As my patients navigate a complex medical system, family and finances, facing tough diagnoses, they are vulnerable and afraid of mortality. To suggest they have a “human right’’ to assisted suicide is both preposterous and tremendously irresponsible. As the Oregon data shows, people are not really choosing assisted suicide due to pain or the fear of it. Rather, as the federal legislation points out, their motivations are emotional and existential fears, mostly fearing newfound disability. Is that truly an autonomous choice in a profit-driven healthcare system?
In light of these glaring concerns, I say first things first. As dangerous as it can be to my patients, assisted suicide cannot be a priority for end-of-life policy. Kudos Lou, to you and the others for fighting for the vulnerable!
Dr. Vincent Nguyen, MD, head of St. Joseph Hoag Health’s palliative care program.
Breaking. News! October 3, 2017), the US House of Representatives passed H.R.36, The Pain Capable Unborn passed by a vote of 237-189.
The House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 36 on Tuesday, October 3rd. Take
Please call your Member of Congress and urge them to Vote Yes on H.R. 36, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act! Thank you!
Sep 26, 2017–
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced Tuesday that he will bring the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to the floor on Tuesday, October 3rd. The bill would ban late-term abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the point at which scientists have determined that unborn babies feel pain.
“Science is increasingly showing by eight weeks children in the womb react to touch, by 20 and if not before, they feel pain,” McCarthy said. “Not only can they feel pain but if they are born at 20 weeks, these children increasingly have a chance to live, to grow, and lead full lives.”
Rep. McCarthy introduced Micah Pickering, a five-year-old boy who was born prematurely at 22 weeks gestational age (20 weeks).
“Looking at him I don’t think anybody would be able to tell,” Rep. McCarthy said. “He’s a perfectly healthy boy and I know everybody here is happy to have you here, Micah. This legislation is for children like Micah, it’s about drawing a line when babies have grown for 20 weeks, when they can feel pain, when they can see their noses, their ears, when we can hear the heartbeats, and we can feel their kicks and at the very least that’s when we can all agree that they should be protected.”
Micah’s mother Danielle described her ordeal with Micah’s extremely premature birth and her horror at late-term abortion.
“My heart is grieved that babies are allowed to be aborted at the same age that my own son was born and even later,” she said. “When Micah was born his eyes were still fused shut, his bones were not hardened yet, he couldn’t breathe on his own. He was medicated to stay comfortable from pain.”
“He was alive and he was fighting and he wanted to live,” she said and concluded by displaying a picture of Micah when he was first born, saying he was no bigger than a pack of M&M’s. She gestured towards her healthy five-year-old boy who was shyly standing amongst the politicians and pro-life leaders.
“Protect the lives of the most innocent people in the wonderful nation that we live in, the pre-born,” she told Congress.
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), the bill’s sponsor, said that “it is time that America recognizes and responds to the cries and humanity of these helpless little pain capable babies and the inhumanity of what is being done to them.” He said the bill “calls to all humane Americans to come together for that purpose.”
Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), a nurse, told those gathered that “more and more, we can celebrate the ability we have to save the life of a baby at just 20 weeks after conception – that is truly remarkable.”
“Science tells us that after 20 weeks of pregnancy, babies are able to feel pain inside the womb,” she emphasized. “It is unconscionable that this is a debate we are having here in the United States in 2017.”
She called the bill a “compassionate, commonsense measure” that “protects those who cannot protect themselves when handed a death sentence.”
Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said that looking over at Micah he “is the face of the pro-life movement,” because “if not for the tremendous love and heroism of his parents he could’ve been yet another victim of the abortion culture and the culture of denial that drives us as a nation to look askance especially those in very elitist positions in this country.”
“Abortionists all over America decapitate, dismember, and chemically poison babies each and every day,” Rep. Smith emphasized, calling the bill a “modest but necessary attempt to at least protect babies who are 20 weeks old.”
If the bill can make it through the House and Senate, President Trump has already committed to signing it into law in a letter he sent to pro-life leaders on the campaign trail.
Most recently, the NY Supreme Court rejected a so called “right to assisted suicide.”
View the current status of assisted suicide in the states below:
Watch the video and read the accompanying story:
|As we post this article, the U.S. Senate is deliberating over a repeal of Obamacare which will defund Planned Parenthood for one year. NJ’s two U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez shamefully support using our tax dollars to fund this disgraceful organization and appeared with Planned Parenthood militants at a protest just yesterday in Washington, D.C. to advocate on their behalf.|
|Here in NJ, we have state legislators who continue to criticize Governor Christie for ensuring that no taxpayer money goes to Planned Parenthood. In fact, we now have 5 Republican Assembly members who have vowed to defy the Governor’s actions and force NJ taxpayers to fund Planned Parenthood. View the article here
The entire NJ Legislature is up for election on November 7th. Please take note of how your State Senator and two Assembly members vote on this issue. We will post the vote tallies on this website. Any lawmaker who supports this organization also supports Planned Parenthood’s illegal activity and should be voted out of office.
Never-before-released undercover video shows Dr. Suzie Prabhakaran, the Vice President of Medical Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, graphically discussing Planned Parenthood’s late-term “dismemberment” and partial-birth abortion protocols in the context of fetal body part harvesting.
The new video comes as the U.S. Senate is debating provisions to terminate taxpayer subsidies to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s biggest abortion business.
At a Planned Parenthood conference evening reception, Center for Medical Policy investigators posing as buyers from a biotech company discuss partnering with Dr. Prabhakaran’s Planned Parenthood affiliate in order to harvest fetal organs and tissues from the 2nd-trimester abortions performed there. Prabhakaran advises that her affiliate is merging with the Orlando Planned Parenthood, which does abortions up to 23 weeks and has a high procedure volume, with eighteen abortions at 18-weeks and above scheduled for the next week.
Prabhakaran discusses how Planned Parenthood allows their abortion doctors to certify compliance with the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, which prohibits abortions in which a fetus is extracted alive up to certain anatomical landmarks (18 U.S.C. 1531). According to Prabhakaran, Planned Parenthood abortion doctors can certify compliance with the law by using a feticide like digoxin to kill the fetus before the abortion, or they can simply “document” their “intent” to do a “dismemberment” abortion where the fetus is pulled apart with forceps rather than extracted intact.
“So some people train to just document that like, you know to comply with the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, you basically have to say, ‘I intend to utilize dismemberment techniques for this procedure,’” explains Prabhakaran. “So every time you do a procedure, that’s how you document. So, like, there’s like a checkbox,” Prabhakaran states, “so it would be before the procedure, you do your evaluation, you write, ‘I intend to utilize dismemberment techniques for this procedure.’”
Prabhakaran indicates she never uses digoxin to kill the fetus before the abortion, and relies entirely on the “checkbox” to “document” her intent in the abortion to certify compliance with the federal law: “I’m not doing digoxin, and we’re just going to document and there’s never been a problem.”
Prabhakaran’s description of Planned Parenthood’s loose protocols for 2nd-trimester abortion procedures corroborates statements by Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in CMP’s first undercover video, that show a lax attitude toward the partial-birth abortion law:
“The Federal [Partial-Birth] Abortion Ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation. So there are some people who interpret it as it’s intent. So if I say on Day 1 I do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn’t matter.”
Nucatola states in the first video that Planned Parenthood abortion doctors can make changes to the abortion technique in order to bring the fetus out intact for body parts harvesting, regardless of any initial “intent” statement: “So if you do it starting from a breech [feet-first] presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last step, you can evacuate an intact calvarium [head] at the end.”
CMP project lead David Daleiden notes, “Planned Parenthood medical directors and abortion doctors feign compliance with the federal partial-birth abortion law on paper, knowing full well that ‘what ultimately happens doesn’t matter’ so long as no one is scrutinizing what they actually do to women and children in the operating room. And the fact that Planned Parenthood has a ‘dismemberment’ ‘checkbox’ on their abortion forms should tell the public and policymakers everything they need to know about this barbaric abortion business. The Department of Justice should open an immediate investigation into Planned Parenthood’s late-term abortion practices, and the U.S. Congress must stop forcing taxpayers to subsidize Planned Parenthood’s brutal abortion empire.”