Committee advances Webber measures supporting women’s health, pregnancy and infant loss awareness

Committee advances Webber measures supporting women’s health, pregnancy and infant loss awareness

Jay Webber

TRENTON, N.J. – The Assembly Women and Children Committee today advanced two measures sponsored by Assemblyman Jay Webber that would support breast cancer research, mammograms for uninsured women and families experiencing pregnancy and infant loss.

The first bill (A921) would require the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to design a breast cancer awareness license plate with a breast cancer organization selected by the governor. It would include the words “Early Detection Can Save Lives” and raise funds for breast cancer research and mammograms for uninsured women in New Jersey.

“I am pleased to be a sponsor of this bill and commend my colleagues for advancing it today.  Giving people an option at the MVC to support the health of uninsured women is the right thing to do,” said Webber (R-Morris).

According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year relative survival rate for breast cancer detected in the early-localized stage is 99 percent. Mammograms are one of the best tools doctors have to help detect breast cancer early.

Webber also sponsors AJR84 designating October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

“Whether you lose a child in the first trimester, through preterm birth, or to sudden infant death syndrome, a baby’s death turns what parents expect to be a life-affirming, joyful experience into a painful tragedy.  My wife Johanna and I know the bitter sting of that pain firsthand, and we are honored and humbled to help remember New Jersey’s lost babies and the parents who grieve for them,” said Webber (R-Morris). “This resolution will shed light on an important topic many are too scared to discuss.”

Although improved access to health care, advances in neonatal medicine, and public health education campaigns have helped improve mortality rates in the country, one in four women will still lose a baby during pregnancy, delivery or infancy.

Under Webber’s resolution, the governor would annually issue a proclamation calling upon public officials and New Jerseyans to observe the month with appropriate activities and programs.

Both measures have passed the Senate and now await the Speaker’s consideration for a full vote in the Assembly.