The New Jersey state Senate on Monday approved a bill that would restore the state taxpayer funding of the family planning efforts run by the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
Last month, the state Assembly approved a pair of bills to restore the funding pro-life Gov. Chris Christie revoked for financial reasons. However, the passage of the bills came seven votes shy of what is needed to override another expected gubernatorial veto.
Yesterday, senators voted for S2393/A3273, which transfers $5 million in reserve funds to the family planning program and received a 44-25 vote with nine abstentions in the Assembly in November. Sen. Jennifer Beck of Monmouth and Sen. Diane Allen of Burlington were two Republican lawmakers who joined Democrats in voting for the funding.
Sen. Loretta Weinberg, a Democrat, sponsored the measure that received a 26-12 vote. Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts told The Star-Ledger he would not comment on whether Christie would sign or veto this bill until the governor and his staff have a chance to review it.
Backers of the measure hope Christie will sign the bill as he explained in his veto that he didn’t want to authorize funding not previously approved in his June budget agreement with the legislature. Under the measure, funding would not come until July 2012 so the state would not have to spend any money until that time, according to the Star-Ledger newspaper.
“That’s a long time to wait. I think we need to work with the governor’s office on this issue in the coming budget cycle,” Beck said.
Before the vote, Marie Tasy of New Jersey Right to Life told LifeNews.com “The bills will ensure that Planned Parenthood/family planning clinics get reimbursed 90% for every service they provide. The push to fund Planned Parenthood/family planning clinics with our tax dollars is not about health care.”
Tasy says information about the massive fraud that Planned Parenthood perpetrated against the state is getting lost in the debate over the funding.
“An important fact that the sponsors of these bills won’t mention is that a U.S. Inspector General audit found that from 2001-2005, Planned Parenthood improperly billed all outpatient services to get the 90% reimbursement rate,” she explained. “The State had to reimburse the federal government a total of $597,496 for this billing error.”
Tasy urges pro-life advocates to contact their state senators and Governor Christie to urge strong opposition to the bill.
During the Assembly debate, Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, a Republican from Sussex, said the bills should be opposed because they prop up the abortion industry. She bemoaned what she said was the fact that New Jersey is one of 17 states to pay for abortions with state Medicaid taxpayer funds.
“The federal waiver will actually bring more money into Planned Parenthood’s coffers, increase its numbers of eligible clients and result in a lucrative expansion and promotion of Planned Parenthood’s abortion business in New Jersey, all to the detriment of women and children’s lives and health, and all paid for by the taxpayers of New Jersey,” McHose said. “If you want to lower the abortion rate in this state, stop the taxpayer funding of abortions.”
Since Christie de-funded the abortion business, Planned Parenthood has closed two facilities that made abortion referrals.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey announced that it would be closing its Dover, New Jersey center. The Planned Parenthood facility located on Haddonfield Road operated by Planned Parenthood of Southern New Jersey shut down in September.
Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey lost $1.2 million and reduced the hours of all of its centers in Passaic, Essex and Hudson counties — laying off 21 people.