The New Jersey Senate will attempt today to override Governor Chris Christie’s veto of a bill to provide $7.5 million in funding for 58 family-planning clinics.
The Associated Press released this brief report today on the planned override of the veto of S2139, called the Women’s Health Family Planning Act. The vote is scheduled to take place at 1:00 p.m.
In his veto message, Christie addressed one apparently repeated accusation, that he would be cutting off funds for the performance of mammograms for breast-cancer screening. Christie pointed out that most of the 58 clinics do not provide mammograms, and that women have other places to go, still funded, that provide that and other forms of cancer screening. He also asserted that taking $7.5 million from a prescription-drug reimbursement fund, as the bill proposes, would make that fund actuarily unsound and thus was not budget-neutral. He further expressed doubt that the sum proposed represented the whole of the program’s costs.
Also today, The Times of Trenton carried this report of a visit to The College of New Jersey by the Centers for Bioethical Reform, who set up two displays of graphic photographs apparently obtained from abortion clinics. The photographs depict late-term abortions in progress and include photographs of severed limbs, ruined skeletons, and other such “products of conception,” the favored term in the medical practice of pathology. The CBR maintains this site, the front page of which displays a video containing footage allegedly from an abortion clinic. (WARNING: The footage depicted in that video displays a medical procedure in a forthright manner. Do not follow this link if you are faint of heart. This Examiner trained in gross surgical pathology and autopsy pathology and can personally vouch for the accuracy and truthfulness of the footage displayed. The “products of conception” on display are similar in appearance to remains that gross-pathology laboratories receive virtually every day of their operation.)
Of the 58 clinics whose funding is at issue, Planned Parenthood operates 29 of them. Three of these perform abortions on-site. Although the bill attempts to provide that no funds shall be directly spent to subsidize an abortion, the funding of any of these clinics’ activities would certainly save Planned Parenthood enough funds from other sources, funds that it could then use to cover abortions. As this Examiner and New Jersey Right to Life have pointed out, money is fungible.
The chances that the override will succeed are almost nil. Seven Republicans broke ranks to pass the bill to begin with. Six of the seven have definitely indicated that they would not break ranks this time. Four would have to break ranks for the override to succeed.
The veto override must begin in the Senate, because the bill itself did. Therefore if today’s override vote fails, the veto shall be sustained. Even if today’s vote succeeds, the Assembly did not even pass the bill with a two-thirds majority if its own membership, and thus an override in that chamber is even less likely.
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