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Newark Mayor Cory Booker didn’t mention Gov. Chris Christie by name, but the Democratic leader took a shot at his Republican governor Tuesday for cutting funding for women’s health services.
Before the mayor made a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Booker appeared at a Planned Parenthood rally and blasted the GOP for denying women access to health care.
"Now I want to be very clear. I come from a state where we’ve seen what Republican leadership will do to things like Planned Parenthood," Booker told the crowd, according to a video posted on YouTube. "We’ve seen it. The first budget that came out of our Republican leadership slashed funding to Planned Parenthood.
"It resulted in, it resulted in the reduction of hours, the elimination of days, elimination of access to women in my city and all over my state."
PolitiFact New Jersey found that Booker’s claim is on target. Christie eliminated nearly $7.5 million for family planning services in his first budget for fiscal year 2011, and has rejected efforts by the Democrat-led legislature to restore that funding.
As we discovered in a previous fact-check, that reduction in funding led to the closure of six family planning clinics, including two facilities run by affiliates of Planned Parenthood.
Those clinics included the following: Westampton and Brown Mills locations run by the Burlington County Health Department; Planned Parenthood of Southern New Jersey’s Cherry Hill center; FamCare, Inc.’s Millville facility; the Bayonne Women’s Health and Family Planning Center; and Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey’s Dover site.
Representatives of those clinics previously told us that state funding cuts forced the closures.
On three occasions, Christie has rejected efforts by the legislature to restore those family planning dollars. The first time occurred when the governor vetoed a bill passed by the legislature in June 2010 to restore the funding.
At the time, Christie said New Jersey residents have access to "comprehensive reproductive health care services" at other sites and the state can’t afford to "provide duplicative funding for family planning centers."
In June 2011, the legislature included the $7.5 million in the fiscal year 2012 budget sent to the governor. Christie eliminated that funding as part of his line-item vetoes, and the legislature couldn’t secure enough votes to override that veto.
Most recently, the legislature passed a bill in June to restore the funding, but Christie vetoed it.
At a Planned Parenthood rally, Booker went after Christie’s record of cutting funding for family planning services.
"The first budget that came out of our Republican leadership slashed funding to Planned Parenthood," Booker said. "It resulted in, it resulted in the reduction of hours, the elimination of days, elimination of access to women in my city and all over my state."
It’s true that Christie eliminated nearly $7.5 million for family planning services in the fiscal year 2011 budget, and has rejected efforts to restore that funding. That funding reduction led to the closure of six family planning clinics around the state.
We rate the statement True.
To comment on this ruling, go to NJ.com.
Cory Booker speaks at the Planned Parenthood Rally at the Democratic, a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 4, 2012
The Star-Ledger, Cory Booker slams GOP on women's rights record at Planned Parenthood rally, Sept. 4, 2012
PolitiFact New Jersey, State Sen. Loretta Weinberg says six of New Jersey’s 58 family planning centers closed because of budget cuts, June 10, 2011
PolitiFact New Jersey, Olympic medalist Carl Lewis calls out state senator for taking away health care from residents, Nov. 7, 2011
Office of Legislative Services, Analysis of the Department of Health and Senior Services Budget: Fiscal Year 2011-2012, April 2011
Office of Legislative Services, Responses of Department of Health and Senior Services to legislative questions for fiscal year 2012 budget, accessed Sept. 4, 2012
Office of Legislative Services, Analysis of the Department of Health and Senior Services Budget: Fiscal Year 2010-2011, April 2010
Senate Bill S-2139, vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie
Senate Bill SCR-210, a bill to override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto
Senate Bill S-788, vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie
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