Chris Christie Has Decimated Women’s Health Care in New Jersey

 

Washington, DC –– Today, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie endorsed Donald Trump for President of the United States. Governor Christie has a horrendous record of blocking women and families from essential reproductive health care in New Jersey.

Christie joins Trump’s two other endorsements this week from House members who both have 0% ratings on the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Scorecard -- and have taken repeated votes to make it harder for women to access safe, legal abortion, to block over a million people from care at Planned Parenthood, and to slash insurance coverage of birth control.

In last night’s debate, Trump doubled down on his extreme stance to block patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood. He also stated that he would use Hobby Lobby --- the Supreme Court decision that would allow bosses to deny women insurance coverage for birth control --- as a litmus test for Supreme Court nominations.

Today on MSNBC, Planned Parenthood Action Fund President was asked about Trump’s comments at the debate. She responded saying,

“There would absolutely be no benefit to having Donald Trump as President of the United States for women” and that “the danger of a Donald Trump presidency is he would actually end access to health care for millions...”

 

BACKGROUND: Chris Christie brags about how he would block women from basic health care

  • Chris Christie recently bragged that he vetoed funding for Planned Parenthood health centers seven times in the New Jersey budget.  In 2009, this funding helped support services for more than 136,000 patients; and in 2013, New Jersey’s family planning providers saw almost 33,000 fewer patients compared with 2010 — a 26 percent drop in patients served.  [New York Magazine, 1/28/16; National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, n.d.]

  • Christie has made an annual action of vetoing $7.5 million included in the New Jersey state budget to go toward family planning organizations: His repeated denial of every effort by the state legislature to restore the funding has led to the closure of family planning centers. On the campaign trail Christie likes to celebrate the fact that he has has “vetoed Planned Parenthood funding seven times,” but the real effects on New Jersey’s women, men, and families has been devastating.  [YouTube, 8/4/15 ; nj.com, 2/26/15]

  • An editorial in the state’s leading newspaper called the results harsh: “Six clinics were forced to close, and others had to cut back on hours or increase waiting periods. And none of the money was even being used for abortions. Christie cut it simply because some of it was going to facilities that also perform the procedure. He was pandering to conservatives who detest Planned Parenthood, at the expense of women's health.”

  • Christie has said that he won’t compromise when it comes to vetoing funding for family planning: “When they send me Planned Parenthood funding year after year after year — and I am the first governor to ever veto Planned Parenthood funding out of the budget — there is no room for compromise there.” [CSPAN, 6/19/15]

Chris Christie’s Anti-Women and Anti-Families Record Has REAL Consequences:

New Jersey health centers have not only been affected by Christie vetoing of family planning funding, but also by cuts to federal Title X funding — nationally, $39.2 million in funding was lost between 2010 and 2013 — and as a result health centers have had to drastically reduce the number of patients served and services provided:

  • In 2013, New Jersey’s family planning providers saw almost 33,000 fewer patientscompared with 2010 — a 26 percent drop in patients served. Some patients may have lost services immediately because their health center closed and they did not have access to other providers. Others have experienced longer wait times for appointments or have had to pay more out-of-pocket. [National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, n.d.]

  • In 2013, New Jersey’s Title X health centers provided reproductive and preventive health care to 90,336 women and 8,821 men. Ninety-seven percent of these patients earned less than $28,725 a year (250 percent of the federal poverty level). National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, 2015]

  • Chris Christie and Donald Trump would ban access to safe, legal abortion.

  • Christie opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and to protect the life of the woman: On NBC’s Meet the Press, Christie laid out his opposition to abortion, saying, “I am pro-life...that’s my position, take it or leave it.” Christie has reiterated his commitment to groups that aim to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalized abortion. Speaking at a pro-life rally on the anniversary of the historic Roe v. Wade decision and telling them that they have “an ally.” [Meet the Press, 6/26/11, Associated Press, 1/24/11]

  • At the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2015, Christie told the audience, “I am pro-life, I ran as a pro-life candidate in 2009 unapologetically. I spoke at the pro-life rally on the steps of the State House – the first governor to ever speak at a pro-life rally on the steps of the State House in New Jersey. And I vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times out of the New Jersey budget.” [YouTube, 3/13/15]

Chris Christie and Donald Trump both think bosses should decide whether women can get birth control or not.

  • Following the extremely unpopular Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision last June. Chris Christie was asked if he was concerned that some New Jersey women could lose birth control coverage, to which he said, “No.” When asked why not, he added, “Because I’m not.” The Hobby Lobby decision gave bosses a permission slip to deny their employees access to birth control coverage, forcing women to go back to the days of paying up to $600 more a year.[POLITICO, 7/13/14]

  • Chris Christie has called the Affordable Care Act a “disaster” a “train wreck” and an “awful law” and has said he would repeal the law. That means taking away affordable health care from208,467 people in New Jersey who have enrolled through the marketplace as well as the 1,701,115women in New Jersey that now have access to preventive care, including birth control and cancer screenings without a copay.

  • Christie said that spending time talking about issues like contraception was “silly.” When asked about the focus by Republican candidates on contraception issues, Christie said  it was “a silly issue for us to be spending time on.” [Associated Press, 3/19/12]