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New Jersey: Christie Veto of Planned Parenthood Tax-Funds Upheld

by Steven Ertelt | Trenton, NJ | LifeNews.com | 7/11/11 5:06 PM

State

Democrats in the New Jersey legislature were unable to override a veto pro-life Gov. Chris Christie issued to prevent taxpayers in the Garden State from having to fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

The bid to override Governor Christie’s line-item veto of the $7.453 million appropriation for women’s health and family planning services, with much of the money going to the pro-abortion giant, failed in the state house this morning. The votes were roughly split down party lines and Democrats could only muster 24 of the 27 votes needed to override and two Republican state senators chose not to vote: Allen and Bateman.

Greg Quinlan, the Director of Government Affairs for New Jersey Family First which, along with New Jersey Right to Life, called on pro-life advocates to lobby members of the state Senate against the override, commented on today’s vote.

“The battle is not over, but this bill will likely not come up for consideration and voting again until November,” he explained.

Quinlan said tempers flared during the debate and vote.

“The rhetoric in the chamber was hot and loud as supporters of the allocation and other measures accused pro-family legislators of being driven by pure religious ideology, and the governor of being a “bully.” Mr. Sweeney, Senate President, used the gavel often in an attempt to control the epithets and arguments that were hurled across the room,” he added.

He credited pro-life advocates with flooding the state house phone lines and email after requests for support for Christie’s veto.

“An important part of the legislators’ decision making process was the amount of communication on this issue that they received from you, their constituents. We want to thank all of you who took advantage of the online tools we provide to you to advocate for the family. Without your voices, the veto might have been overturned and the funds restored to organizations such as Planned Parenthood,” he said. “Thanks to your action, New Jersey will not be turning your taxes around to fund Planned Parenthood clinics across the state, and the integrity of Governor Christie’s budget is maintained.”

New Jersey Right to Life director Marie Tasy responded to the vote saying it was “shameful” that Democrats in the state Senate forced a vote on funding Planned Parenthood.

“Today,  25 Senators voted to force taxpayers to fund an organization that repeatedly places the lives and health of NJ women and young girls in grave danger and has engaged in improper Medicaid billing practices,” she told LifeNews. “Thankfully, their political charade failed.”

Christie vetoed state taxpayer funding for family planning programs a second time earlier this month because the New Jersey is facing a fiscal crisis. Leading pro-life groups also called on Christie to veto the funding because public money goes to Planned Parenthood, which has been found to violate health and safety laws on abortions, aided sex traffickers in arranging abortions for victims, and engaged in financial impropriety.

The New Jersey Senate passed a measure to restore the $7.5 million in funding 26-13 with all of the Senate Democrats voting to restore the Planned Parenthood funds along with Republicans Diane Allen and Jennifer Beck.

Tasy says there are three main reasons, other than the fact that it is the biggest abortion business, to de-fund Planned Parenthood in the Garden State. First, Planned Parenthood was found to have engaged in improper billing practices.

“Last August, the Star Ledger reported that the  U.S. Inspector General’s Audits from 2001-2005 specifically cited Planned Parenthood providers for improperly billing Medicaid $597,000 for family planning services which the state had to repay,” Tasy explained.

Planned Parenthood was also found to have aided and abetted the sex trafficking of minors and it failed to comply with health and safety regulations.

“In February,  an employee at the Perth Amboy Planned Parenthood family planning clinic was caught on tape aiding and abetting in the sex trafficking of minor girls as young as 13 years old,” she said. “In March, the Planned Parenthood family planning and abortion facility in Mercer County was inspected by the NJ Department of Health and issued a 39 page deficiency report for non-compliance with health and safety regulations, including the failure to properly sterilize a reusable vaginal ultrasound.”

“Unlike the lawmakers who are playing politics to curry favor with their base, Governor Christie is protecting the women and young girls of New Jersey by refusing to use our tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood family planning clinics,” Tasy concluded. “Lawmakers pushing for funding of Planned Parenthood family planning clinics should be held accountable, not only for their advocacy of an organization that has repeatedly aided and abetted the sex traffickers and abusers of minor girls, but for also trying to force taxpayers to be complicit in these reprehensible acts against women and young girls.”

Recently, New Jersey Right to Life exposed a 39-page deficiency report obtained through an Open Public Records Act Request. The Report was issued by the New Jersey Department of Health and involved a recent inspection of Planned Parenthood of Mercer County’s abortion and family planning clinic citing numerous health and safety violations.  This report follows a videotape showing a Planned Parenthood clinic employee aiding and abetting sex traffickers of minor girls as young as 13.

“By pushing to fund Planned Parenthood in spite of its criminal activity and violation of health and safety laws, both of which place the lives of women and young girls in immediate danger, Senator Weinberg proves she is not a champion of women,” Tasy said. “She is a champion and tireless advocate for Planned Parenthood and is fighting to fund them with our hard earned money.”

In early February, an employee at the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Perth Amboy, New Jersey was caught on videotape working with an alleged sex trafficking ring operator to get abortions done on the underage girls he claimed he was exploiting.

A recent inspection last month of Planned Parenthood of Mercer County finds the clinic in the state capital was cited for numerous health code violations which have placed the lives and health of women and young girls in imminent danger.

The New Jersey Department of Health conducted the surveys on March 10 and 11 and found Planned Parenthood of Mercer County improperly used syringes and compounds, it was guilty of improper training and qualifications of staff on pain management and health care counseling (including abortions), the facility failed to have infection control program in place and failed to require physical exams for staff.

Health officials also determined the Planned Parenthood center did not test staff for rubella and TB, the medical director failed to designate a replacement for times of absence, the Planned Parenthood did not ensure adequate protections were in place for drug adverse reactions and medication errors, did not have procedures in place regarding dangerous substances, did not have a written agreement with a pharmacy licensed by the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy, did not have adequate infection controls in place, was not using and sterilizing medical instruments and devices — including a vaginal ultrasound — properly, and did not provide any proof that the facility is a formal member of the Maternal and Child Health Consortium as required by law.

The inspection, written up in an April 7 letter, also noted Planned Parenthood failed to maintain hot running water in patient care areas, and it had several sanitary and safety violations involving patient care and many other administrative deficiencies.

After a U.S. Inspector General report showed New Jersey-based family planning clinics run by the Planned Parenthood abortion business were improperly billing Medicaid for services that did not qualify as family planning, the state had to return $2.9 million to the Medicaid program.

Christie vetoed the funding the first time in February and of the abortion business’ centers closed last year following that.

ACTION: Contact your state legislators at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/ regarding the override vote and thank Governor Christie by calling 609 292-6000 or going to http://www.nj.gov/nj/feedback.html