With the above words Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37) welcomed pink-attired attendees to a rally in front of a Planned Parenthood site in Englewood which no longer has sufficient funds to open on Tuesdays or Saturdays. Family planning and women’s health care are under assault both in the House where Republicans passed a bill to eliminate all federal funding for Planned Parenthood and in New Jersey where Governor Christie also opposed its funding. Senator Lautenberg said, “We’re going to make sure Planned Parenthood can continue serving the health care needs of families in New Jersey and across the country.”
Senator Lautenberg went on to say, “Planned Parenthood is under attack by Tea Party Republicans who have put their extremist ideology above women’s health.” A smaller contingent of opponents held a particularly nasty sign which said Planned Parenthood was aiding and abetting underage sex trafficking. Sen. Lautenberg engaged the protesters and quieted them as he asked if they support mammograms, cervical exams and other routine health services the agency provides. more below…
Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-22) said, “The conservative, mysogynistic policies being pushed by Christie and the Tea Party are a full on assault. For every dollar not spent on family planning services we will spend four more.” She reminded attendees of Christie Todd Whitman’s support for abortion rights and prevention of unintended pregnancies. For more on why former Republican Governor Whitman says, “I know full well the value of Planned Parenthood,” go here.
When Governor Christie eliminated NJ’s $7.4 million family planning budget he said it was because the State did not have enough funds. However in his 2009 campaign platform he stated clearly “I am pro-life,” and in January on the steps of the Statehouse to an anti-abortion rally he said, “I stand with you, and with each and every one of those precious human lives.”
At today’s rally Michele Jaker of Planned Parenthood said, “These services are critical to this community and we need to assure they continue.” Senator Bob Gordon (D38), Assemblywom Connie Wagner (D-38), and other legislators affirmed their commitment to seek restoration of this funding. Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-37) spoke with passion about the impact on poor women. A client ended the rally, saying “Christie doesn’t care about me, my family, or my health. We can’t let the extremists take away our health care.”