Westwood—Assembly Candidates Jannie Chung and Annie Hausmann today responded to Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi’s change of position regarding state funding for Planned Parenthood. While the candidates were glad Assemblywoman Schepisi finally agreed to fund the organization, they questioned the sincerity of her commitment to standing up for women, noting that she never for the past seven years opposed Governor Christie’s cuts.
Assemblywoman Schepisi’s announcement came as a surprise to many because she had never previously resisted the Governor’s decision to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. In fact, she recently said that she has not seen any “facts” that show the cuts have been harmful, despite breast cancer rates rising 11% and sexually transmitted diseases spreading 75% in Bergen County alone since 2009. Planned Parenthood provides breast cancer screenings and access to contraceptives that prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Candidate Jannie Chung said, “Funding Planned Parenthood is not just a women’s issue. Stopping cancer, preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and ensuring access to contraception makes everyone safer and healthier. New Jersey needs leaders in Trenton who will fight to do what’s best for everyone, not just what’s best for themselves or their party.”
Assemblywoman Schepisi’s change of heart occurred just days after Monmouth University released a poll showing Governor Christie’s approval rating had reached a historic low of 15%, a fact that has caused many to speculate that Schepisi’s announcement had more to do with distancing herself from an unpopular governor than with any strong support for Planned Parenthood.
“Voters deserve representatives in the Assembly who will fight for what they believe in no matter what,” said candidate Annie Hausmann, “Assemblywoman Schepisi sided with Governor Christie for seven years, and only decided to stand up for women when it became politically convenient. That is not leadership, it’s gamesmanship, and the people of New Jersey deserve better.”