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New Hope Responds to Attacks by NJ Politicians
On January 22, US Representative Josh Gottheimer and NJ Assemblyperson Lisa Swain staged an unannounced press conference in front of New Hope Pregnancy Resource Center in Westwood. They proceeded to attack New Hope with baseless claims that it deceives and harms women. The stated goal of these politicians is to shut down all pregnancy resource centers in New Jersey. It is an audacious election-year gambit that has nothing to do with helping women, especially the traditionally underprivileged who are the majority of those served by New Hope.
In its 39 years of existence, New Hope, an all-volunteer organization, has helped more than 2,000 single moms (and their babies) and currently assists more than 60 women every month. The overwhelming majority of women who come to New Hope have already had or are about to have their baby and are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their child. No one in need is ever turned away, and many have been rescued by New Hope from homelessness, domestic violence or other dangerous living conditions. New Hope empowers these women by:
helping them create a plan to attain self-sufficiency and mentoring them for 3 years or more,
providing everything a new mom will need for her baby including diapers, clothing, car seats, strollers, and highchairs (almost all of which are donated by the local community),
providing assistance with education, housing, childcare and/or transportation, and
delivering life skill seminars on subjects like budgeting, child rearing, meal planning, resume preparation and career guidance.
All of the services that New Hope provides are performed free for all clients and without a single dime of taxpayer funding. And contrary to Gottheimer’s and Swain’s accusations, New Hope does not offer or provide medical services of any kind.
“Unfortunately, these politicians do not understand how we help women to become independent”, said Barbara Mezzina, New Hope’s Executive Director. “In fact, we received a call that same morning from someone we later learned was a member of Rep. Gottheimer’s leadership team who claimed to have a ‘friend’ who might need our services. There is no need for deception as we are transparent in everything we do.” New Hope has never been notified by any government agency or official of a complaint lodged against them and has never been the subject of any civil suit or other legal proceeding.
New Hope has extended Representative Gottheimer and Assemblyperson Swain an open invitation to visit the center, meet New Hope’s wonderful volunteers and learn about the important work they do for mothers in need. So far neither of them has expressed any interest in visiting or getting to know what New Hope actually does, nor has either of them provided any specific examples of women harmed in any way by New Hope.
New Hope remains as dedicated as ever to its mission of serving mothers and their babies, many of whom are constituents of Gottheimer and Swain. New Hope calls on both of them to drop their gratuitous attacks and help support the important work New Hope does to assist and empower women in need.