By Kevin Coughlin
About two dozen people on Tuesday delivered home-made Valentines to the Morristown office of Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.), urging the 12-term congressman not to support defunding of Planned Parenthood.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed state funding for family planning services since 2010.
And the GOP majority in Congress intends to nix all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, according to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
“This is a big issue in New Jersey because if federal funding is cut, there is no longer state funding to help under-served populations, and all women who use Planned Parenthood to get the critical and life-saving tests, health services and birth control that they need for their lives to be whole,” said Marcy Blumers of NJ 11th for Change.
The grassroots group has been pressing Frelinghuysen, so far unsuccessfully, to resist President Trump’s agenda and to schedule town hall meetings.
Planned Parenthood receives about $430 million in federal funds, and performs more than 320,000 abortions across the nation each year, according to Morris County Right to Life. Abortions are not federally funded.
A former supporter of Planned Parenthood, Frelinghuysen has voted for defunding at least six times since 2015, said Cece Kent of NJ 11th for Change. “We don’t understand why. We don’t think he’s consistent with how his constituency feels,” she said.
Frelinghuysen did not personally receive the Valentines from Kent’s group. The congressman, a Vietnam veteran, was delivering “Valentines for Vets,” created by area schoolchildren for hospitalized veterans, according to his website.