Chris Christie is a potential 2016 presidential candidate on the Republican side and, like the others who are mentioned as possibly seeking the GOP nomination, he is pro-life. Now, Christie has endorsed a national bill pending in Congress that would ban abortions after 20 weeks.
Christie announced his support for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act with the following statement:
“I am proud to be a pro-life Republican. I believe that every life is an individual gift from God, and that no life is disposable. When I was preparing to run for Governor of New Jersey there were those who told me there was no way I would be elected as a pro-life candidate. I told them that they were wrong, that the voters would accept the sincerity of my beliefs even if they felt differently. Today, I am a living example that being pro-life is not a political liability anywhere in America,” said Gov. Chris Christie to the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List.
“I also know that there are areas where all Americans – regardless of being pro-life or pro-choice – can come together. One proposal that brings Americans together is the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which would protect unborn children beginning at 20 weeks, or five months of pregnancy, based on their ability to feel pain. America is one of just seven countries that permits elective abortions past this point. We can do far better than this. I urge Congress to take swift action on this important issue.”
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Marjorie Dannenfelse, president of the pro-life women’s group Susan B. Anthony List, told LifeNews she is delighted to see Christie standing up for pro-life principles.
“There is complete unity on the Republican side around this highly reasonable proposal to protect pain-capable children after five months. Meanwhile, the national Democratic Party and its leaders remind us almost daily of the abortion lobby’s importance in their policy and politics. We expect this clear difference to be a focal point of the general election debate,” she said.
Christie is pro-life and vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times before he ran for re-election in a state that is not known as a bastion of conservatism.
Christie earned high praise from pro-life advocates, saying 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 and because the state is facing a tough financial crunch.
“I first want to thank you for acting on our Alert to urge the Governor to veto S788/A3204, the bill which would provide $7.5M in taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood, Marie Tasy of New Jersey Right to Life said in an email message to members. “The Governor heard our message loud and clear! Just this afternoon, Governor Christie vetoed the bill, along with other supplemental bills passed last week.”
In August 2012, 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.”
During a speech in Janaury 2012, Christie made it clear he takes a strongly pro-life stance on abortion.
“I stand with you,” on opposing abortion, the governor told the pro-life crowd, and “with each and every one of those precious human lives.”
“What we need to do each and every day is to live our lives in a way that encourages everyone to understand why this cause is so important,” Christie said, according to the Asbury Park Press. ”To show that we respect the life of every human being, and that every human being is one of God’s creatures and deserves the love and respect that God gives to all us.”
“As long as I have the honor of serving as governor, you will know you will have someone sitting in that office who understands the issue, who appreciates it and will continue to stand up and speak strongly in favor for the protection of every human life in New Jersey.”
Christie said elected officials who are pro-life must “speak loudly and clearly (and) leave no ambiguity about how we feel about this issue.”
Talking about his own views, Christie added: “As you all may know this is not an issue that I always understood nor was I always on your side. It is an issue I came to grow and learn about in a very personal way. My daughter Sarah will turn 15 in February. When I heard her heartbeat at three months in our doctor’s office, it was at that moment that it became clear to me that being on the sidelines on this issue was not something I could live with. I needed to speak out in favor of a very simple idea, that that child is a life which deserves protection.”
During the 2012 presidential election, Christie admonished Mitt Romney to select a pro-life running mate, which Romney eventually did in Paul Ryan.
“If you’re voting for somebody at the top of the ticket who’s pro-life, and vice presidents often – not always, but often – wind up succeeding to leadership of the party, if not leadership of the country,” Christie said. “You know, people want some consistency in that regard.”
Christie complained Democrats are monolithic on abortion.
“The Democratic Party won’t even let someone who’s pro-life speak at their convention,” Christie said.
On the 20-week abortion ban, Republican leaders in the House had planned to hold a monumental vote on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in January on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, legislation that bans abortions after 20 weeks based in part on the compelling scientific evidence showing unborn babies feel intense pain at that point, if not earlier.
However, several Republicans who have pro-life voting records and voted for the bill the last time around, publicly led by Rep. Renee Ellmers, sabotaged the bill by objecting to the provision allowing abortions in cases of rape or incest.
According to multiple pro-life sources LifeNews has spoken with, new language is still in the works and those responsible for crafting a second version of the bill are taking their time to ensure it’s done right and another blowup from Ellmers or other lawmakers is avoided. There is no purposeful delay in bringing the bill back to the floor.