Chris Christie Leans on Discredited Videos to Justify Attacking Women’s Health
Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433
Washington, DC — Today, on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Gov. Chris Christie used widely discredited and heavily edited and deceptive videos attacking Planned Parenthood to advance his anti-women’s health agenda.
"Here's what I don't think mainstream America's for, I don't think mainstream America is for an organization getting federal funding, who kills children in the womb, in a particular way, so that it maximizes the value of their body parts on the open market for sale for profit,” he said.
As his poll numbers are slipping, Gov. Christie is latching on to extreme rhetoric in a desperate attempt to appeal to the far right base. Earlier this week he embraced extreme rhetoric on immigrants, saying that if he is elected president, the United States would track foreign visitors just like FedEx tracks packages. Now he’s leaning on discredited videos put out by anti-abortion extremists to justify an attack on women’s health.
In Christie’s eagerness to appeal to the far right, he’s acted against the interests of women, and as governor, he’s left tens of thousands of New Jersey women out in the cold — forcing health centers to close, and leaving women without essential care like cancer screenings and birth control. Even his home state’s leading newspaper had harsh words for the presidential hopeful: “Gov. Chris Christie finally admit[ted] he was flat-out lying about his reasons for vetoing funding to Planned Parenthood...He was pandering to conservatives who detest Planned Parenthood, at the expense of women's health.”
FACT CHECK: Heavily edited videos against Planned Parenthood are “severely manipulated” and significantly distort and misrepresent actual events
- “A report commissioned by Planned Parenthood has found that the sting videos targeting its tissue donation practices contain intentionally deceptive edits, missing footage and inaccurately transcribed conversations.” (Politico: Report for Planned Parenthood finds sting videos manipulated)
- “CMP took no steps to hide the fact that it edited its shorter, more widely viewed clips of undercover meetings with Planned Parenthood. … But the group held that these "full footage" tapes were complete, unbiased presentations of its Planned Parenthood meetings. If CMP also edited these "full" tapes — ones that it told viewers were complete footage — then the group is guilty of deceiving the public the exact same way it deceived Planned Parenthood.” (Vox: I thought I saw all the Planned Parenthood sting footage. Turns out the tapes were edited.)
- “The undercover Planned Parenthood videos that spurred a congressional investigation were so severely manipulated that they wouldn't hold up in court, according to an analysis by three teams of forensic experts.” (Huffington Post: 'Sting' Videos Of Planned Parenthood Are Totally Cooked, Forensic Analysis Finds)
- “Undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress have fueled a conservative backlash against Planned Parenthood but so far have produced no evidence anyone is illegally profiting from fetal tissue.” (Associated Press: Planned Parenthood report shows controversial videos were distorted)
- “... ‘the manipulation of the videos does mean they have no evidentiary value in a legal context and cannot be relied upon for any official inquiries unless C.M.P. provides investigators with its original material, and that material is independently authenticated as unaltered.” (New York Times: Undercover Planned Parenthood Videos Were Altered, Analysis Finds)
FACT CHECK: While Chris Christie’s been busy pandering to the far right, the women of New Jersey have been paying the price.
· Chris Christie has vetoed funding for family planning six times in the New Jersey budget. Every year, the New Jersey Senate and Assembly have passed legislation to restore the $7.5 million in family planning that Christie cut, and every year he has vetoed this legislation, even bragging about how many times he’d cut funding for Planned Parenthood. In 2009, this funding helped support services for more than 136,000 patients; and in 2013, New Jersey’s family planning providers saw almost 33,000 fewer patients compared with 2010 — a 25 percent drop in patients served. An editorial in the state’s leading newspaper called the results harsh: “Six clinics were forced to close, and others had to cut back on hours or increase waiting periods. And none of the money was even being used for abortions. Christie cut it simply because some of it was going to facilities that also perform the procedure. He was pandering to conservatives who detest Planned Parenthood, at the expense of women's health.”
· Chris Christie has also vetoed efforts to expand New Jersey's Medicaid eligibility for family planning to 200% of the federal poverty level, which would allow thousands of women to have coverage for their reproductive health care needs and bring this to parity with the state's pregnancy eligibility level for Medicaid. Even with the Affordable Care Act, this program is still important for those women who remain uninsured or who "churn" between Medicaid and Marketplace coverage.
FACT CHECK: Chris Christie has repeatedly acted against the interests of women and holds extreme views on women’s health.
· Governor Chris Christie opposes abortion and has reiterated his commitment to groups that aim to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalized abortion. Speaking at an anti-abortion rally on the anniversary of the historic Roe v. Wade decision he told the crowd that they have “an ally.” [Associated Press, 1/24/11; Meet the Press, 6/26/11]
· Governor Christie celebrates his record of vetoing $7.5 million a year that would go to family planning organizations such as Planned Parenthood, leading to the closure of health centers. In 2012, 434,950 New Jersey women were in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies. Investments in family planning not only help women access affordable birth control, but also helps them avoid sexually transmitted infections, cervical cancer, and unintended pregnancies.
· Chris Christie thinks bosses should be allowed to deny women access to affordable birth control and said he was not concerned that some New Jersey women could lose birth control coverage after the deeply unpopular Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision. Polling shows that 57 percent of female voters disagree with Christie’s position, saying that they would be more likely to support a candidate who opposes allowing employers to refuse to cover birth control.
· Chris Christie has called the Affordable Care Act a “disaster” a “train wreck” and an “awful law” and has said he would repeal the law. That means taking away affordable health care from 208,467 people who have enrolled through the marketplace as well as the 1,701,115 women that now have access to preventive care, including birth control and cancer screenings without a copay.
· Governor Christie has repeatedly blocked reforms that would support equal pay for women. Back in 2012, Christie blocked two bills that would make it easier for women to learn if they are being discriminated against and recover the back pay they are owed. He did the same thing again in 2014. Christie called one of the bills a “senseless bureaucracy." In New Jersey, women make 80 cents on the dollar to their male counterparts. That disparity is larger for women of color.
· When Christie vetoed a bill to raise the minimum wage in 2013, proponents of the bill vowed to take it to the people and put it on the ballot. Later that year, 61 percent of New Jersey voters voted for a minimum wage increase, sending Chris Christie a clear message that he was wrong. Two-thirds of minimum wage earners are women, and Wider Opportunities for Women estimates that a single person without children in New Jersey working a job with benefits would still need a wage of $19.55 for basic economic security.
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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.