Is Gov Christie moving Left on Abortion?
Almost forgotten amid the hubbub of the election, Hurricane Sandy, the Christie-Obama “bromance”, the Christie-Springsteen “bromance”, and the power outages, was a little reported announcement by the Governor’s office on October 23, 2012. On that date, Governor Chris Christie announced that he was giving a total of $19.5 million in tax money to 54 organizations for “vital care, treatment and the prevention of HIV/AIDS.” Here is the text of the Governor’s press release:
Trenton, NJ - Governor Chris Christie and Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd today visited the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation in New Brunswick to announce more than $19.5 million in state funding for 54 community organizations, hospitals and health agencies for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Hyacinth, the oldest and largest organization in the state serving those with HIV/AIDS, received the largest funding award in the amount of $2.1 million to assist in their comprehensive array of services provided to those who need them most.
“Today’s funding announcement is a significant investment in our community organizations that are on the frontlines in the battle against HIV. These grants will provide $11.2 million for HIV counseling, testing and education and $8.3 million for medical care and social services including housing aid and legal services,” said Governor Christie. “It’s community organizations just like Hyacinth that are providing a vital safety net and vision that is worthy of our continued support. We are joined by a common vision and belief that we have a moral imperative to help people in need of treatment.”
Governor Christie and Commissioner O’Dowd met with several clients of the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, an organization that has helped more than 50,000 clients over the course of three decades through prevention, counseling and testing, legal services, housing assistance, referrals for health care and assistance to offenders re-entering the community.
Other grantees include the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, nearly $1.9 million; Cooper Health System in Camden, $976,753; Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, $786,835; Camden Area Health Education Center, $704,642; Jersey City Medical Center, $648,000; the John Brooks Recovery Center in Atlantic City, $679,245; and the South Jersey AIDS Alliance in Atlantic City, $678,529.
Commissioner O’Dowd said the grants “ensure that more New Jersey residents will know how to protect themselves, have the opportunity to get tested and get the treatment they need. Working with our partners, we can reduce the transmission of HIV and improve the quality of life of those living with HIV/AIDS.”
Earlier this year, the Administration distributed $8.1 million in federal funding to organizations providing medical and support services to those living with HIV/AIDS. These services include health care services, home health care, transportation, substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, hospice care and other social services.
Nationally and in New Jersey, one in five living with HIV are unaware they are infected. Approximately 105,000 HIV tests were performed at 140 HIV testing sites last year. Testing sites, which are located in all 21 counties, include community organizations, hospitals, health departments, community health centers and other health care facilities.
More than 36,000 people in New Jersey are currently living with HIV. Nearly 7,000 state residents with HIV/AIDS receive medications through the Department’s AIDS drug distribution program.
The Christie Administration is directing resources more wisely to help New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents by:
- Providing nearly $1 billion to hospitals for the medical care they provide to New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents;
- Increasing funding for community health centers by $10 million to a record high of $50 million; and
- Increasing funding by $3.5 million in the current budget for cancer screening for those most in need to a total of $12 million in public funds (federal & state).
Today’s grants range from $19,500 to $2.1 million. The grantees will receive funding in monthly installments. A complete list of grantees is available at
If you click the link you will find that one of the groups receiving money from the Christie administration is Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey, located in Morristown, Morris County. It received a grant of $154,400.00.
This issue has now come full circle for Chris Christie. Back in the autumn of 1994, this same Planned Parenthood organization was lobbying for its public funding to be restored by Morris County. Then candidate for freeholder Christie had this to say:
“I support Planned Parenthood privately with my personal contribution… It’s also no secret that I am pro-choice … But you have to examine all the agencies needing county donations and prioritize them. I would consider all groups looking for funding, but there is a limit and we have to pick and choose.”
As late as December of 2008, Chris Christie would not confirm if he was pro-life or pro-choice on abortion. In 2009, Christie ran for Governor as a pro-life candidate. Does his funding of Planned Parenthood mark yet another adjustment in his position on this issue? Many insiders and activists are thinking that it might.