NJ gubernatorial candidates clash on Planned Parenthood

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

Two of New Jersey’s candidates for governor are on the opposite sides of the debate in terms of state support for Planned Parenthood.

Democratic candidate Phil Murphy says that a state-funded Planned Parenthood is a life-or-death issue. But Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the Republican candidate, says that she does not support state funding for the organization.

Murphy and some state lawmakers held a rally outside the New Jersey State House Thursday, as Planned Parenthood announced that the organization would endorse him.

“We’ll take women’s health, we stand with Planned Parenthood and we’ll be on the right side of history,” Murphy said. “You have my word, no matter what.”

The Democrat says that he wants to restore a cut to health clinics across New Jersey, including Planned Parenthood. Gov. Chris Christie cut the funding of more than $7 million a year out of the budget when he took office. He said at the time that it wasn’t needed.

Murphy says that Guadagno is partially to blame for the rise in STD rates after the funding was cut.

Planned Parenthood says the closing of some clinics in the wake of the cuts resulted in a 35 percent increase in STDs since 2009, and a rise in cases of breast and cervical cancers.

“They’ve put a lot of women at risk in the state over the last 7.5 years,” Murphy said. “I think it’s deplorable, it’s unacceptable and it will stop.”

Murphy has previously said that women’s health funding is his top issue for this election.

A Rutgers Eagleton poll says that two-thirds of New Jersey voters said that they support women’s health funding for Planned Parenthood. The poll shows that of those who support state funding for the organization, 48 percent are Republicans.

Guadgano's campaign says her position is that she does not support state funding for abortions specifically. She would consider funding Planned Parenthood and other clinics if she can be assured that the money doesn’t go to abortions.

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