New Jersey Democrats to Hold September Vote to Restore Planned Parenthood $
by Steven Ertelt
August 27, 2010
Trenton, NJ (LifeNews.com) — New Jersey Democrats in the state legislature have set a September 20 vote to attempt to override a veto Governor Chris Christie issued on a bill restoring the family planning funds Christie cut from the state budget. Christie said the money shouldn’t go to the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
Christie thinks there’s little reason to send the abortion centers $7.5 million when the state currently faces an $11 billion deficit.
The funds go to 58 family planning clinics but Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain, runs 29 of the facilities.
Upset by his decision, Senate President Stephen Sweeney has scheduled a Senate vote on September 20 to override Governor Christie’s veto of S2139. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver said she would schedule the override vote in the Assembly on September 30 if the vote in the Senate is successful.
Scheduling the votes comes 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 eventually returned $2.9 million to the Medicaid program this week.
New Jersey Right to Life director Marie Tasy told LifeNews.com today her group is " asking everyone to both call and email their State Senator and two assembly members with the message" to vote no on the override.
"I am a taxpayer and citizen of New Jersey, I do not support funding of Planned Parenthood/family planning clinics," she said pro-life advocates should tell their state legislators.
The state Senate passed its bill restoring the Planned Parenthood funds by a veto proof majority with 30 yes votes and 10 no votes with all Democrats voting for the bill and seven Republicans joining them.
The Assembly did not pass the bill by a veto proof majority. The bill passed with 42 yes votes, 22 no votes and 13 abstentions.
All Democratic Assembly members voted for it except Joseph Egan (D-17) and Jack Conners (D-7) who abstained. Nellie Pou (D-36) was absent. All Republican Assembly members voted no or abstained.
The 7 Republican Senators who voted for the bill were: Senator Diane Allen (R-7), Senator Christopher Conners (R-9), Senator Andrew Ciesla (R-10), Senator Sean Kean (R-11), Senator Jennifer Beck, Senator Kip Bateman (R-16), and Senator Robert Singer (R-30).
When issuing his veto, Christie 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.
Christie’s state budget removed the millions in funding for the abortion businesses but Democrats, in June, voted to restore the health and family planning services via a supplemental funding bill that is on his desk.
Tasy of New Jersey Right to Life says Planned Parenthood should not be funded by state taxpayers, even though the money doesn’t directly fund abortions, because "every New Jersey family planning center under Planned Parenthoods control counsels and refers for abortion."
"Despite assertions to the contrary from some lawmakers that none of the money will be used for abortion, the funds will be used for abortion because these centers have the mutual financial advantage of referring pregnant clients to one of the three Planned Parenthood/family planning centers that perform abortion," she said.
Tasy also noted that the national Planned Parenthood annual report shows its centers don’t provide many other services apart from abortion.
In its most recent annual report for the year ending June, 2008, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates list the following pregnancy services: 305,310 abortions, 4,012 adoption referrals and 10,914 prenatal care services.
"These statistics and their disproportionate ratios confirm that they are the largest provider of abortions in the nation, and that contrary to many of their supporters assertions, they are indeed all about abortion and not about saving lives," she said.
"We commend Governor Christie for his steadfast opposition to restoring these funds and for working to promote the best health care for all New Jersey citizens," she concluded.
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