In Chris Christie’s first year as governor, he surprised many New Jerseyans by cutting $7.5 million for women’s health clinics – money that would be matched by the federal government 9 to 1. At the time, Christie said the issue was budgetary – and although Democrats refused to believe it, many female Republican legislators said they had to stand with the governor due to the budget crisis.
Christie has cut the money every year since then, resulting in the closure of six family planning clinics around the state. And contrary to what he says in New Jersey, he is telling Republican primary voters that his cutting of the funds is evidence of his pro-life commitment. Despite this, female Republican legislators such as Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington), and Assemblywomen Amy Handlin (R-Monmouth) and Nancy Munoz (R-Union) voted with the governor.
In a written statement, Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) said “The governor’s claim that his veto is the result of budgetary issues is an insult to the women and families of this state who have lost access to family planning and preventive health care services because of his funding cuts. This has nothing to do with funding, but rather the governor’s need to pander to a national audience.”
Weinberg has been battling with the governor over this issue since his first veto.