New Jersey Legislature Votes Monday on Planned Parenthood Tax Funding
by Steven Ertelt
September 15, 2010
Trenton, NJ (LifeNews.com) — The New Jersey state legislature will vote Monday on a measure to override a veto Governor Christ Christie issued to prevent $7.5 million in state taxpayer funds from going to the Planned Parenthood abortion business. When the state currently faces an $11 billion deficit, Christ said the funding doesn’t make sense.
Christie won the praise of pro-life advocates in July by vetoing a bill that would restore the family planning funds his administration cut from the state budget because of deep economic troubles.
Although it doesn’t fund abortions directly, the money goes to the Planned Parenthood abortion business. The funds go to 58 family planning clinics but Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain, runs 29 of the facilities.
After Christie cut the funding, the state legislature approved a bill to restore it and they approve the bill he vetoed on a 30-10 vote on the Senate, more than enough to override.
However, Republicans who supported the bill appear unlikely to buck their party’s governor by supporting the override vote.
Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. told the Star-Ledger newspaper in August that "There will not be enough votes in the Senate to spend money that we don’t have. This is the time for fiscal discipline, and the members of the Republican caucus recognize that."
That isn’t stopping Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, a Democrat who is the prime sponsor of the override effort, and Planned Parenthood from waging an aggressive lobbying campaign prior to the vote.
"The governor’s veto leaves thousands upon thousands of New Jersey women out in the cold," Lampitt claimed, according to New Jersey NewsRoom. "This is not a partisan issue; it is about saving women’s lives and taxpayer dollars."
Lynn Brown, CEO of Planned Parenthood of South Jersey, alleged that "Christie’s veto hurts New Jersey families."
"When the Governor says the state’s federally qualified centers will be able to make up the difference, he’s wrong. Let’s be clear: this veto will stretch many health care clinics and hospitals to the breaking point with an influx of new patients," she contended.
Back in August, three of the seven Republicans in the Senate who voted for the measure told the Star-Ledger newspaper do not plan on supporting the override and Democrats won’t be able to get the 27 votes needed if one more Republican joins them.
In addition to Kean, state Sens. Christopher Connors and Robert Singer, both Republicans, will switch their vote.
Officials at New Jersey Right to Life are asking pro-life advocates to call members of the state Senate to urge a no vote on the override.
"Our voices are being heard. Please continue to call and email your State Senator and two Assembly members and urge them to vote No to override the Governor’s veto," said NJRTL director Marie Tasy.
Christie thinks there’s little reason to send the abortion centers $7.5 million when the state currently faces an $11 billion deficit.
He said the "unprecedented financial difficulties" of the state made it so the money was better off not spent.
"Reproductive health care services will continue to be available in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties, including Planned Parenthood clinics, local health department clinics, standing free clinics, and hospital-based clinics," he said.
The legislation, A-3019, is also sponsored by Assemblywomen Linda Stender (D-Union), Celeste Riley (D-Cumberland), Valerie Vanieri Huttle (D-Bergen), Linda Greenstein (D-Middlesex) and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer).
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