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Bergen Parents, Women Weigh In On Contraceptive Bill Passing NJ Assembly

From left, clockwise: Charlie Chalkin of Leonia, Alexis O'Shea of Hackensack, Janine Weinert of Old Tappan and Mark Goldstein of Demarest.
From left, clockwise: Charlie Chalkin of Leonia, Alexis O'Shea of Hackensack, Janine Weinert of Old Tappan and Mark Goldstein of Demarest. Photo Credit: Submit

The New Jersey State Assembly recently passed legislation expanding insurance coverage on contraceptive prescriptions from 1 to 3 months to 12 months.

If passed by the Senate and signed into law by Gov. Chris Chrstie, this would mean easier access to contraceptives.

Currently, women must make repeated trips to pharmacies or health care providers to stay consistent with contraceptives.

For women who work full-time, often two or more jobs, to support their families, these trips can be a costly hurdle. Regardless of their employment status, women must carve out time from their days for these trips, and must have reliable transportation.

These are all issues that affect a woman's ability to use birth control consistently.

Bergen County residents weighed in on the Assembly's move, and many hope to see a positive change because of it.

Demarest father and chiropractor Mark Goldstein says "the proof is in the pudding."

"Even though I'm not thrilled with the activity going on, I'm sound in mind enough to realize sexual activity before marriage is not stopping or slowing down, so let's keep it safe."

He's hoping that one day, the move will help his daughter.

"My ultimate desire is to keep her safe," he said. "I'm all for easy access to any device that could inhibit unwanted pregnancies or STDs."

Finding a ride to the pharmacy or time to pick up a prescription is half the battle, which is why Hackensack's Alexis O'Shea hopes the bill is passed.

"Some of the reason why some women lose continuity on their contraceptive is simply because they don't have time to pick it up," the 29-year-old said. "This could help that."

Leonia native Charlie Chalkin, 24, isn't directly impacted by the move right now, but feels it's a step in the right direction for many of his friends.

"There is no reason to make it difficult or even annoying for women to get birth control," he said.

"We've made good advancements in society to prevent unwanted pregnancies, so why not take advantage of it and allow women the freedom of complete control over their bodies?"

Natalia Novoa of Lyndhurst feels similarly.

"I feel that it is our right to have the choice and why not make it more convenient and easier to get?" she said. "Everyone is free to make their own decision, and this makes it a lot easier for women... who have busy schedules."

Old Tappan mom and animal activist Janine Weinert feels it's a "no-brainer."

"For the younger generation on it, they may be going to places like Planned Parenthood to get it," she said. "It could mean a lot less pregnancies."

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