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Governor Christie Supports Federal Bill to Ban on Abortions More Than 20 Weeks Into Pregnancy

Anti-Abortion Group Touts Support of NJ Governor Who Once Described Himself as "Pro-Choice"
Gov. Christie
Gov. Chris Christie's position on abortion has changed over time. Daniel Munoz

TRENTON, NJ - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joined Republican Governors in 14 other states in supporting a federal proposal that would ban abortions more than 20 weeks into a woman's pregnancy.

Known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, as well as H.R. 1797, the proposal currently has the support of 14 contenders for the Republican nomination of the 2016 presidential race. 

The bill is based on the belief that a fetus at the age of five months can feel pain during the abortion procedure. 

“I am proud to be a pro-life Republican. I believe that every life is an individual gift from God, and that no life is disposable," Christie wrote in a statement published on March 30 by the anti-abortion organization, the Susan B. Anthony List. 

"America is one of just seven countries that permits elective abortions past this point. We can do far better than this. I urge Congress to take swift action on this important issue.”

Christie has been the first New Jersey Governor to take a stance against the controversial 1971 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade decision, which effectively legalized abortion.

In late February of this year, the Governor touted his repeated vetos of funding for NJ Planned Parenthood.  Each year, the Governor vetoed roughly $7.5 million intended for women's healthcare, claiming that the funding was something the state could not afford.

Due to the economic crisis, my Administration was forced to make tough decisions to fill an $11 billion budget gap", the Governor wrote in one of his veto messages, "Unfortunately, as a result, many worthy programs were cut or eliminated."

Planned Parenthood currently has 28 facilities in New Jersey, with the one of the sites in New Brunswick and another in Perth Amboy.

The result of Christie's actions were the closure of six clinics, as well as cutbacks to hours and services at several other clinics, according to an editorial in the Newark Star-Ledger.

"It was interesting to hear Gov. Chris Christie finally admit he was flat-out lying about his reasons for vetoing funding to Planned Parenthood," the editorial reads.

"It happened when he was bragging about his pro-life credentials at the annual CPAC conference attended by conservatives, a chance to woo the party's base."

The governor's stance on abortion had indeed changed over time.

His 1994 race for a seat on the Morris County relied heavily on a pro-choice platform.  Christie says his stance shifted one year later, after when he heard the heartbeat of his second daughter, Sarah. 

In 1996, The Bergen Record quote Christie saying "I'm pro-choice, but I think this procedure is reprehensible." 

At the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C., Christie touted his five vetos and his pro-life platform from 2009 to Republican atteendees. 

"I mean, I'm pro-life, I ran as a pro-life candidate in 2009, unapologetically spoke at the pro-life rally on the steps of the Statehouse - the first governor to ever speak at a pro-life rally on the steps of the Statehouse in New Jersey - and vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times out of the New Jersey budget," the Governor boasted.