In a letter to Christie Pascrell stated the following:
"This important funding, $7.4 million of which was eliminated in your budget for FY 2011, provided much needed services for women and men throughout New Jersey. These crucial services included birth control, prevention and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), breast cancer screenings, and pap exam.
In 2009 alone, the funding in question provided preventive health services the services for over 136,000 patients, including over 70,000 breast exams and 65,000 pap tests. Due to the cuts in the state's budget, family planning health centers have been forced to close across the state, or otherwise suspend services. For example, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey had to cease offering pre-natal services at its Paterson center at the end of 2010, limiting access to care.
By withdrawing the states application last year to expand its Medicaid program to women looking for family planning opportunities, New Jersey lost an important opportunity to bridge the gap in these services."
Secaucus-based Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) said last month that restoring funding for women's health care is a top priority. He is the chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee.
Pascrell is currently in a heated primary battle for the 9th District against Rep. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn). The clash is the result of redistricting, as the U.S. Census forced portions of Congressional Districts 5, 8, and 9 to combine into two districts. Secaucus and Kearny are the only Hudson County municipalities in the new 9th Congressional District.