Trenton veteran Jackie Cornell is the new executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of NJ, the political wing of the venerable provider and advocate for high quality healthcare including abortion services and cancer screenings.
Cornell’s new full title is Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of NJ and the Chief Government Relations Officer of the Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central and Southern NJ (PPNCSNJ).
Planned Parenthood is also a refuge for people without health insurance, including patients keen to continue their pregnancies.
“There is no more essential place to be, in this moment, than at Planned Parenthood,” Ms. Cornell said in a statement. “Reproductive health and rights are foundational to strong public health and to thriving communities, which is something I’ve carried with me since my first position at Planned Parenthood nearly 20 years ago. I’m delighted to return to the Planned Parenthood team to ensure that every New Jerseyan has access to the reproductive health care they need — no matter what.”
A former deputy health commissioner and medical marijuana pioneer, Ms. Cornell’s began her career as a peer-to-peer health educator at Planned Parenthood in Central Jersey two decades ago.
Her new leadership post comes at a pivotal time for abortion rights in America.
Since the Supreme Court’s rejection of Roe v Wade, abortion is outlawed (or will be outlawed) in 26 states including half a dozen with no exception for rape or incest. It’s a radical vision: conservatives want to control when the rest of us start (or grow) our families and they won’t stop until every pregnancy in America is forced to term.
New Jersey is widely considered a stronghold for reproductive choice, a distinction Ms. Cornell is keen to preserve says two of New Jersey’s most prominent pro-choice lawmakers.
“Jackie understands the importance of protecting the advancements we have here in New Jersey,” Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman told InsiderNJ. “I trust her to use her experience as well as her state and federal relationships to keep Planned Parenthood’s service footprint in NJ as a model for the country.”
Rep. Watson Coleman’s vote of confidence was echoed by US Senator Cory Booker.
“Jackie Cornell has dedicated her career to improving the health and lives of New Jerseyans,” Senator Booker told InsiderNJ. “At a time when reproductive rights are under assault, I’m excited to see her bring her skills, perspective and experience to the fight.”
Jay Lassiter is a writer and podcaster based in Cherry Hill, NJ. He learned he was HIV+ at a Planned Parenthood clinic back in the 1990s.