Gov. Chris Christie Highlights Non-Abortion Women’s Clinics

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 9, 2011   |   1:41PM   |   Trenton, NJ

When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie repeatedly vetoed state taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business, he said it didn’t need taxpayer funds in part because clinics are available across the state that provide health care for women without also doing abortions.

Kansas, Indiana and other states that have yanked or cut funding to the nation’s biggest abortion business have made the same arguments and, on Monday, Christie toured a non-abortion health clinic catering to women to show off the services it provides.

Christie visited the Southern Jersey Family Medical Center’s Burlington City Health Center to kick off National Health Center Week.

“The Burlington City Health Center and all of our New Jersey community health centers are an essential part of our health safety net for those who otherwise would not have a medical home,” Christie said, according to Newsroom Jersey. “These centers offer affordable, high-quality care to residents and families in need. I am proud of the strong support my administration has provided for community health centers in the budget – $113 million in Medicaid and $46.4 million for the uninsured. With this assistance, we are making sure the people and communities who rely on these services lead healthy lives now and in the future.”

Michele Jaker, executive director of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of New Jersey,  immediately attacked the governor in comments to the Courier Post newspaper, and complained that Christie’s revocation of the funding has forced Planned Parenthood to close some of its centers and cut back at other locations — all of which do abortions or refer for them.

“He said only six family planning centers have closed and 52 remain open,” Jaker said. “But almost every one of those 52 centers have reduced their hours or laid off staff or both. The impact on access has been serious.”

“If you want to put it on me, put it on me,” Christie told a reporter, according to the Post. “I think the funding is more efficiently and more effectively spent here (at a clinic) that provides health care to everyone.”

“The states should have the opportunity to create health care laws that work for the citizens of their states and not have it mandated to them by Big Brother federal government,” Christie said.

The visit and Christie’s actions de-funding Planned Parenthood have gone over well with pro-life groups like New Jersey Right to Life.

Marie Tasy, Executive Director of New Jersey Right to Life told LifeNews that Christie is a stark contrast to pro-abortion President Barack Obama, who has done everything possible to expand Planned Parenthood funding.

“Unlike Governor Christie who has freed NJ taxpayers from complicity with the nation’s largest abortion provider, Obama is doing the bidding of Planned Parenthood by forcing citizens to pay for contraceptives and abortion inducing drugs in health insurance plans,” she said.

However, the visit did nothing to quell criticism from pro-abortion state lawmakers upset that Planned Parenthood stopped receiving taxpayer funds.

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, a Democrat who has repeatedly tried to force taxpayers to finance the abortion business, complained about Christie’s record.

“The women of New Jersey aren’t fooled by the kinder, gentler image that the governor is trying to roll out to salvage his plummeting poll numbers,” Weinberg said, according to the New jersey news web site. “They understand that under this governor, access to basic health services has been severely reduced, and the safety net for women’s health has been all but dismantled. A proclamation celebrating National Health Center Week isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on when the governor’s actions tell a very different story about his support for health care.”

“If the governor and legislative Republicans really cared about health care, they’d work with us to restore the cuts to women’s health programs and the myriad other health care safety net programs which have been on the governor’s chopping block,” Weinberg said. “Publicity stunts like signing a proclamation for National Health Center Week provide little comfort for women struggling to access health care.’

But Sen. Diane Allen, a Republican, welcomed Christie and thanked him for his focus on promoting better health care for women.

“We have just kicked off National Health Center Week and couldn’t be more pleased that the Governor came down here to celebrate our extraordinary FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center) here in Burlington City,” Allen said. “The fact is we really should be celebrating these centers every day of every week because of the positive impact they have on the lives of our lower income residents, particularly women.

“Among the services offered by FQHCs include: gynecological services for women, prenatal and newborn care, dental, pediatrics and after my bout with oral cancer, I am particularly pleased that they are expanding oral health care as well,” Allen said. “I am thankful for the strong support the governor and the Legislature have given to the FQHCs.”