New Jersey Governor Vetoes Family Planning Funds Again

Robin Marty

The on again, off again family planning funding in New Jersey appears to once more be off again thanks to a governor's veto.

The on again, off again game that seems to be family planning funding in New Jersey is once more off again, as Governor Chris Christie announces that he will once more veto any funding added to the state budget.

Via The State Column:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has vetoed two bills, one to fund family planning clinics, health insurance for low-income adults; another,  a tax-incentive program for homebuyers, saying the state cannot afford additional expenses.

“State spending has been reset to levels that the taxpayers can afford,” Mr. Christie wrote last week. Mr. Christie said the additional spending was not part of the bipartisan budget agreement that diminished funding for education and municipalities, as well a lowering property tax rebates.

Like This Story?

Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Donate Now

Democrats criticized the governor, saying the Republican had allowed spending increases in other areas.

Democrats argued that more than 136,000 patients were served by family planning in New Jersey last year, averting 40,000 pregnancies and 19,000 abortions and saving the state more than $150 million.

Both the state senate and state assembly voted to restore the family planning money earlier in July, after Gov. Christie removed the funds from the initial budget.

Anti-choice advocates are thrilled about their victory, despite the fact that the funding would have been used to prevent pregnancies, and hence abortions, the very thing they claim they want.  Christian Web News reports:

For far too long and without voter approval, NJ taxpayers were forced to fund Planned Parenthood in the state budget under “family planning services.”

In Governor Christie’s FY 11 budget, he proposed completely eliminating $7.5M in funding to Planned Parenthood/family planning clinics. A group of pro-abortion lawmakers endorsed by Planned Parenthood’s Political Action Committee, pushed a supplemental bill through the legislature in June which would have restored $7.5M to these centers. By vetoing the bill, Governor Christie freed NJ taxpayers from complicity with the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Planned Parenthood Affiliates of NJ administers control over the operations of the NJ family planning clinics. Every NJ family planning center under Planned Parenthood’s 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.

Once more, anti-choice forces show they prefer to have more women with unwanted pregnancies than actually work to find ways to address reproductive healthcare.

News Abortion

Mississippi Governor Signs Bill Outlawing Common Abortion Procedure

Teddy Wilson

"Governor Bryant just signed a clear attack on women's health care as part of a plan to ban abortion across the board,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R), who has said that it is his goal to “end abortion” in the state, signed a bill Friday that criminalizes a medical procedure often used after miscarriages and during second-trimester abortion care.

“We’re making Mississippi the safest place in America for an unborn child,” Bryant said in a post on Twitter.

HB 519, sponsored by Rep. Sam Mims (R-McComb), would prohibit a physician from performing the dilation and evacuation (D and E) abortion procedure unless it is necessary to “prevent serious health risk” to the pregnant person.

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement that the law is not based on medicine.

Like This Story?

Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Donate Now

“Governor Bryant just signed a clear attack on women’s health care as part of a plan to ban abortion across the board,” Laguens said. “Planned Parenthood will continue to fight to protect the rights of our patients and their access to safe medical care, no matter what.”

Similar bills have been introduced this year in several states. The bills are copies of legislation drafted by the anti-choice group known as the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).

State courts have blocked such measures passed by GOP lawmakers in Oklahoma and Kansas. West Virginia’s Republican-led legislature in March voted to override the veto of a similar bill.

The law takes effect on July 1.

CORRECTION:​ A previous version of this story stated that “federal courts” have blocked D and E bans in Oklahoma and Kansas, but only state courts have blocked such measures. We regret the error.

News Maternity and Birthing

New Jersey Lacks Law Addressing Shackling of Pregnant Inmates Because Gov. Christie Wouldn’t Sign It

Nicole Knight Shine

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed nearly 100 bills as the legislative session came to a close this January, but a measure to severely curtail the shackling of pregnant inmates wasn’t one of them.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed nearly 100 bills as the legislative session came to a close this January, but a measure to address the shackling of pregnant inmates wasn’t one of them.

Despite winning unanimous bipartisan support in the state assembly and senate, the bill died without the Republican presidential hopeful’s signature. The measure, S 221, would have severely curtailed the use of restraints on inmates during all stages of pregnancy, including after delivery.

The medical community has denounced shackling during pregnancy, which can include placing handcuffs, waist chains, and leg irons on a person. The American Medical Association has called it “barbaric,” while the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists described it as “demeaning and unnecessary.”

Data from the Sentencing Project, a criminal justice research and advocacy group, indicate that one in 25 women in state prisons and one in 33 in federal prisons are pregnant when admitted to prison.

Like This Story?

Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Donate Now

When asked about Christie’s failure to sign the new safeguards into law, the governor’s Deputy Press Secretary, Joelle Farrell, told Rachel Roth for MomsRising that, “Many of these bills seek to address important issues that deserve attention, but not with an 11th hour, ill-considered rush.”

The United States adopted a federal anti-shackling policy in 2008, but that does not apply to the more than 86 percent of U.S. prisoners housed in state prisons, as a recent shadow report to the U.N. Committee Against Torture pointed out. At present, 18 states restrict the use of restraints on pregnant inmates by law, while another 24 states limit their use through institutional policies. Eight states do not have any form of regulation at all. There exists a number of gaps in the policies that do exist, the report indicates, and many are not implemented.

Shackling during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery can pose substantial medical risks to the health of the woman and her fetus, the report notes.

Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), one of the New Jersey bill’s sponsors, called the bill “commonsense [and] humane,” according to MomsRising.

Last month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a bill that generally bars the use of restraints prior to or after childbirth for inmates. That legislation, like the New Jersey bill, enjoyed bipartisan support.