New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie likes to gloat about how Democrat lawmakers have forced the state to such an insolvent position that its bond rating was slashed from AA to AA-. He claims that when he tried to warn lawmakers in the past about the implications of New Jersey’s generous state employee pension and benefit plans, he was called “Chicken Little.” As he crows that the “sky is falling,” following the bond rating downgrade, which means New Jersey will have to pay higher interest rates on future bond issues, he leaves out his own decision to not make the annual pension fund contribution of $3.1 billion last year.
He also leaves out his decision to veto a bill just days ago that was passed by the state legislature, which would have required New Jersey to allocate $1.1 million to family planning for low income women in order to receive $15.1 million in federal Medicare and Medicaid funding.
None of that funding would have been used for abortions. Instead, it would have provided for women to receive necessary healthcare like Pap smears, cervical exams, birth control and other family planning. Planned Parenthood of New Jersey is one provider of these crucial women’s health services. Studies have shown that every $1 spent on birth control means a savings of 3.74 Medicare and Medicaid dollars.
Instead, Governor Christie thinks that women should go to a federal-qualified health center (many of which have said that they do not provide ob-gyn services), or a hospital’s emergency room. Hospital emergency room services are costly, and should only be used for actual emergencies. Women should not have to go to the ER to get a birth control prescription, nor should patients in need of medical care for actual emergencies be forced to wait for care because someone else is getting their monthly birth control prescription filled.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Governor Christie told anti-abortion groups that they had an “ally” in him as the rallied on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and now, in the wake of the Live Action film of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, it seems that Governor Christie is comfortable with his decision to put his feelings about abortion ahead of what the citizens of New Jersey want, which is access to affordable healthcare.
Governor Christie had 15.1 million reasons to sign the bill, and only one reason to not sign it: He is against abortion, and is reveling in the opportunity to force New Jersey women to follow his beliefs, because he has made it unaffordable for them not to.
Instead of acting as a fiscally responsible elected official, Governor Christie has chosen to act as if he were a dictator incapable of calculating simple sums.