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Women and Pharmacist Highlight Lance's Anti-Birth Control Record

Press Release

Location: Fanwood, NJ

Women and Pharmacist Highlight Lance's Anti-Birth Control Record

Women Highlight Support for Sole Female NJ Candidate

Yesterday, at Tiffany Natural Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy that has been a part of Westfield for 50 years, women for Linda Stender came together to highlight Leonard Lance's extreme record on women's rights that would deny them birth control and why Lance will just be more of the same failed George Bush policies for women.

Stender said, "Two years ago, Leonard Lance was one of only six State Senators to oppose my bill guaranteeing the right of women to have their prescriptions filled. That is just unconscionable to me. As a new grandmother, I am running to reverse the Bush-Lance assault on women's health care and make sure the rights of women are always respected. New Jersey women need someone who will fight for them and represent them in Washington."

Lance admitted he opposed Stender's bill and believed women should be forced instead to rely on pharmacist referrals for their prescriptions if they were not able to obtain their birth control. Stender denounced this as an undue burden for women, stating, "Women should not have to drive around for miles on end, especially with gas prices these days, just to get their basic prescriptions filled. Leonard Lance is truly out of touch if he believes women should be forced to drive from pharmacy to pharmacy looking for someone to give them their medication."

Tiffany Natural Pharmacy owner Brian Pinto praised Stender for her leadership in the Assembly and said, "I applaud Linda Stender for her work on this important bill. All women should be able to have access to their prescriptions and we are proud to provide these crucial healthcare services in Westfield and for the surrounding areas like Scotch Plains and Fanwood. Linda has always been a strong supporter of independent pharmacists and small businesses. "

Fanwood mayor Colleen Mahr noted Stender would be the only female in the entire New Jersey Congressional delegation: "Her leadership on the pharmacy bill shows why she is so urgently needed in Washington. We don't need more Leonard Lances and so-called "moderates" denying women their health care needs. Lance's failure to stand up for women shows why Planned Parenthood Action Fund endorsed Linda Stender and told Lance to quit calling himself "pro-choice." It's been thirty years since we've had a Democratic woman in Washington for New Jersey. Linda Stender will be the one to change that."

Sharon Stockwell, a mother of two from Westfield, said, "As a mother with an eight year old daughter who cares greatly about her future, I support Linda Stender for Congress. New Jersey's 4.3 million women are without representation right now and our voices are not being heard in Washington. For my daughter's sake, I want to see Linda be my representative."


Lance One of Six Senators to Oppose Right of Women to Access Contraception. In 2006, Lance voted to allow pharmacists to refuse dispensing medication to those with prescriptions based on subjective religious or philosophical concerns. Lance voted against the bill although it passed overwhelmingly through the Senate, 31-6. [S1195, Seq. 336, 6/26/06]

New DCCC Ad Noted Lance's Vote on S1195. View ad here.

Lance Campaign Release on Ad Does not Mention Accurate Vote on S1195. [Press Release, 10/2/08]

Lance Acknowledges Pharmacies Should be Able to Deny Prescriptions to Women and Force them to Find Pharmacy. In justifying his vote against the Stender bill, Lance said he supported an amendment that was not part of the original bill that would require any pharmacy that does not stock a drug to refer the customer to one that is "reasonably accessible" to the customer and does stock the drug. [Politcker NJ, 9/8/08]

Planned Parenthood Endorsed Stender, Noting Lance's Anti-Woman Record. Planned Parenthood, in their endorsement of Stender, called for Lance to stop calling himself pro-choice as his record shows just the opposite. Planned Parenthood noted, "During his seventeen years in the New Jersey Legislature, Senator Lance aligned himself with the anti-choice extremists time and time again. In fact, Senator Lance was one of only six New Jersey Senators to oppose Linda's bill that ensures women are able to get their prescriptions filled at local pharmacies. [NJ Planned Parenthood, 9/23/08]

Stender Introduced Assembly Version of S1195. Stender's bill passed 55-19 in the Assembly. "Democracy guarantees us the right to hold our own moral or religious views, but under no circumstances should a pharmacist's personal beliefs impede a patient's ability to obtain their prescribed medicines," said Stender. [S1195, 6/11/07; Press Release, 10/19/06]

Planned Parenthood Applauded Passage of Bill as "Basic Health Care for Women." "Birth control is basic health care for women," said Jeffrey Brand, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey. "The governor's signing of this bill into law guarantees families the right to have any legal prescription filled anywhere in New Jersey. We applaud Governor Corzine for his continued support of women's health," continued Brand. [Planned Parenthood NJ, 11/6/07]

Bush Administration Proposed Law to Limit Access to Contraception and Overrule State Protections. In July 2008, Department of Health and Human Services issued a proposed rule that would require hospitals receiving federal funds to certify that, in their hiring, they do not discriminate against people who refuse to provide forms of contraception, such as birth control pills, due to personal religious beliefs. 104 House members sent a letter to the Bush Administration denouncing the proposal and noting its threat to states such as New Jersey: "By distorting the scope of the laws, it would gut state and local protections of women's right to safe and effective birth control." [ABC News, 7/21/08]

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