The Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey issued the following statement in response to the complete elimination of state funding for family planning services.
"In these difficult economic times, family planning is not only good for women, it is also a wise strategic investment," said Lisa Mizrahi Kaado, WPCNJ President. "Every $1 spent on family planning saves $4 in Medicaid costs alone. We've long known that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so it stands to reason that investing in preventive care is sound fiscal policy.
"The savings realized today in this budget will ultimately increase the burden on the ordinary taxpayer. Undetected and untreated health conditions become serious illnesses and serious illnesses are much costlier to treat than to prevent. It's like ignoring that leaky pipe in the wall; it's only out of sight until the walls and floors start to mildew and crumble.
"Moreover, the lack of access to basic health care services will increase the number of preventable emergency room visits further burdening our hospitals and straining limited charity care funds."
The savings of $7.4 million dollars is dwarfed by the $29.4 BILLION budget, yet the total elimination of state funding deals a devastating blow to the 40,000 woman and their families who rely on these services for preventive health care such as routine gynecological exams and blood pressure screening.
"Family planning services are critical to the health and well-being of New Jersey women and their families," said Kaado. "The cutbacks outlined in this budget will deny critical reproductive and preventive health care services to low income and working families, who otherwise may go without basic health care."