Family planning services cut back

    In South Jersey Burlington County health department and Planned Parenthood are ending some services due to eliminated state funds.

    Planned Parenthood in Cherry Hill is closing down in response to New Jersey’s budget cuts. The state eliminated funds for family planning.

    Six hundred people have visited Planned Parenthood in Cherry Hill this year, but subsequent visitors will have to go to one of three other sites operated by Planned Parenthood of Southern New Jersey.

    Executive Vice President Joyce Kurtzweil says state funds comprised 25 percent of her budget — and she chose to close Cherry Hill because it’s one of the smaller facilities. She says she’s concerned about women delaying or skipping visits because they will have to travel farther.

    Kurtzweil: Of course, we have done all that we need to do to transfer them to other sites. So it is my hope that that transferring process will be smooth. What people will do actually, I don’t know.

    The Burlington County health department, which had received nearly a quarter million dollars annually for family planning, will also run out of funds and end its services at the end of November. County spokesman, Ralph Shrom, says clients will be referred to two federally-funded medical clinics that can serve financially needy patients.

    Shrom: We’re fortunate, at least we have some sort of an option here and hopefully some if not all of their medical needs can be met this way.

    New Jersey had spent $7.5 million on family planning, but the governor says the state doesn’t have the money to support it anymore. Democratic lawmakers tried to override the decision, and failed.

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