During a recent visit to Elizabeth, Gov. Phil Murphy endorsed the re-election of anti-abortion state Sen. Joseph Cryan (D-Union), who has publicly stated his desire to outlaw abortion except for cases of rape, incest or if a woman’s life is in danger.
Cryan was awarded an unfairly advantageous position on the primary ballot by State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden), the chairman of the Union County Democratic Party, who put the anti-abortion senator on a ballot line together with Murphy, who has pledged to protect reproductive freedom and remove barriers to access for women who choose to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
Murphy also expressed support for Reginald Atkins, a former Roselle mayor who is seeking the Democratic nomination for General Assembly despite his 2007 arrest on domestic violence charges and a litany of potential fraud claims that sources say are likely to result in state and federal indictments after the election.
Atkins, who is a protestant bishop who has not disclosed his views on abortion, reportedly obtained a federal coronavirus emergency loan and fraudulently collected unemployment benefits from the state while he was employed in as many as five other jobs — two at taxpayer expense — while he certified each week that he was looking for work.
Atkins was paid about $15,000 in unemployment benefits that he admitted to being unqualified for, while he was employed as a commissioner at the Linden-Roselle Sewerage Authority and as a Roselle councilman. He was also the pastor of a church that is part of the extreme right-wing Apostolic-Prophetic Movement, rooted in the charismatic Christian ministries of Moral majority leader Jerry Falwell and the 700 Club’s Pat Robertson.
One or more anti-abortion legislators seem unlikely running mates for a governor who has vowed to protect reproductive rights.
“As access to health care and the right to choose are under attack at the federal level, we will support, defend, and protect reproductive rights here in New Jersey,” said Murphy.
Murphy’s endorsement of a senator, who would deny women their choice to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, calls into question his “unwavering …commitment to work towards reproductive freedom for all New Jerseyans.”
When Republican Governor Christie needed help to close nine New Jersey Planned Parenthood women’s health clinics, Cryan provided the deciding vote required to pass those draconian budget cuts in the General Assembly on June 28, 2010.