Resistance building in Central Jersey to GOP’s healthcare policies

A group of more than 50 protesters rallied outside Rep. Leonard Lance’s office in Westfield on Wednesday to call for the protection of the Affordable Care Act under President Donald Trump’s administration. Nick Muscavage/Staff Video

Protest

WESTFIELD – Armed with signs reading “Resist Trump,” “Down with Trump, Down with Lance,” “Medicare for All” and “Resist and Persist,” they gather every Wednesday on the sidewalk outside Rep. Leonard Lance’s (R-District 7) office on North Avenue to show they don’t like what’s going on in Washington.

This Wednesday, more than 50 people, most proud to be called “progressives,” braved a chilly wind during evening rush hour to protest the possibility of changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and cuts of federal aid to Planned Parenthood.

Sometimes it was hard to hear what they were saying or, in some cases, singing because of the car horns being honked in solidarity.

The protesters ranged in age from the freshman president of the Westfield High School Young Democrats Club to those who took part in protests against the Vietnam War in their college days.

“This is amazing,” Christine Sadovy, advocacy director of Planned Parenthood of Central and Greater Northern New Jersey, said about the turnout. A rally was also scheduled at the same time outside Lance’s office in Raritan Township.

Sadovy said the Republican majority in Congress may remove Planned Parenthood from the Affordable Care Act, making birth control and other services of the organization unaffordable for women.

“Being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition,” she said. “That’s not fair.”

“If Planned Parenthood is defunded, millions of people across the country would lose access to the vital preventive reproductive health care services they rely on,”  Sadovy said. “New Jersey residents do not want to see reproductive health care under attack, and that’s why we are making our voices heard loud and clear.”

“Women deserve access to health care no matter their insurance level,” said Mara Natale of New Providence.

Her friend, Plainfield resident Robert Sanchez who carried a sign, “Bad Hombre and Nasty Woman for Planned Parenthood,” said he came to the rally “to support Progressive values at a grassroots level.”

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