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Uploaded on Nov 21, 2010
Audio from November 15th 2010 N J State Senate Hearing
I'm writing this letter to inform the public about the appalling manner in which I was treated on Monday November 15th at the Senate Budget Hearing. I went to Trenton to present my personal testimony and provide reasons why I opposed bill S2393 sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg and Senator Paul Sarlo which would provide family planning centers and Planned Parenthood government funding. As I began to offer my testimony, the Bill Sponsor and Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Sarlo, immediately interrupted me and told me that I could not talk about any personal experiences with Planned Parenthood that I could only speak on the bill.
I proceeded to speak on the bill just as Senator Weinberg and Planned Parenthood did. They spoke about Planned Parenthood's services, admitting they provided abortions. I saw no reason why I was not permitted to also speak about abortion, and explain why I felt that this same organization that promotes ending a baby's life and personally pressured me into an abortion was not relevant to the discussion. After Senator Sarlo tried to shut me down a second time, I spoke from the standpoint of what services Planned Parenthood provided. I was immediately told I could not speak at all and ordered to turn my microphone off.
While I was trying to speak, Senator Weinberg turned around, faced the audience and put her finger up to her head acting as though it was a gun and clicked her finger. I later learned, ironically, that Senator Weinberg and Senator Sarlo are also prime sponsors of the Anti Bullying Bill of Rights legislation. I felt this was a very insensitive and offensive gesture and shocked that legislators who claim to care so much about women's rights would treat a woman this way. These legislatures should be ashamed of themselves.
I am a registered NJ voter and concerned citizen who pays my taxes. I was treated disrespectfully, publicly humiliated, bullied and ordered to turn off my microphone all because my opinion differed from Planned Parenthood and the sponsors.
I wish to thank Senators Joseph Pennacchio and Michael Doherty for acknowledging that I had a right to testify and confirming that my perspective and experience was relevant to the discussion. I hope that no other person has to go through what I experienced that day in Trenton.