New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed the state budget, and for the fifth time the Republican politician has refused the inclusion of additional funding for family planning services. Christie previously vetoed the funding in 2012, in 2011, and twice in 2010.
As they have done in budget years past, New Jersey’s Democratic legislators attempted to add $7.5 million in family planning funds, hoping that the money would prop back up a system of women’s health clinics that has been depleted since Gov. Christie took office. According to the Star Ledger, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) proposed the funding this year, citing the six reproductive health centers that have closed since the 2010 budget cuts. “It is shameful that the governor is playing politics with the health of the women of New Jersey,” Sen. Weinberg told the paper. “Women and families in communities across New Jersey have lost access to cancer screenings, pre-natal care, STD testing and treatment and birth control.”
Gov. Christie’s repeated refusal to allow additional family planning funds into the state budget, as well as his public embrace of anti-choice policies prior to the 2012 presidential election didn’t sit well with the voters of his state, who said his speeches to abortion opponents made them less likely to approve of him. Now, with obvious 2016 presidential aspirations, the governor is once more ignoring the will of those voters.