Gov. Pete Ricketts: ‘Nebraska Is a Pro-Life State’

Dan Fleuette
Dan Fleuette

Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts has proposed a budget to Nebraska citizens that would end family planning taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood and other clinics that perform abortions.

“Nebraska is a pro-life state, and the state’s budget should reflect those values,” Ricketts said in a press statement, adding:

This year, I am recommending that the Legislature revise the State’s distribution of federal Title X healthcare funds to ensure that no funds are used to subsidize abortion. Thanks to action by Congress, Nebraska can now take new steps to protect unborn life by ensuring that these dollars are not used to fund abortion.

Ricketts plans to revise the distribution of federal Title X family planning funds in his state to ensure no health facilities are receiving the funding unless they are totally separate from any entity that performs abortions. Under his budget, every community currently receiving funds would continue to be eligible for funding.

“By prioritizing federal funds to clinics that do not provide abortion services, Nebraska is sending the message that we are a state that respects unborn life,” Lt. Gov. Mike Foley also said.  “The Governor and I strongly urge State Senators to enact this recommendation, and we look forward to working with them to help Nebraska’s budget reflect our pro-life values.”

In making its budgetary recommendation, the governor’s office referred to a resolution, signed by President Donald Trump in April and approved by Congress, that overturned former President Barack Obama’s rule forcing states to provide family planning grants to Planned Parenthood and other facilities that perform abortions.

Using the narrative that “abortion is health care,” Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (PPHeartland) condemned the move as “extreme”:

“The Governor’s remarks are a blatant attack on Planned Parenthood and are part of an extreme agenda to completely dismantle reproductive health care access,” said a press release from the organization.

“Attacks on Title X and Planned Parenthood are short-sighted, politically motivated and medically ignorant, and Nebraska women deserve better,” said Meg Mikolajczyk, PPHeartland Associate General Counsel. “We urge lawmakers to reject any attempts to cut any family planning provider out of Title X.”

Recently, PPHeartland countered Ricketts’ new “Choose Life” license plate with one of its own that states, “My Body, My Choice”:

More than a dozen states have attempted to eliminate Planned Parenthood’s funding in the wake of the release of videos that alleged the group harvests the body parts of babies aborted in its clinics and sells them for profit. These states have sought to redirect that funding to other community healthcare centers, which provide more expansive services than Planned Parenthood and outnumber the abortion chain by at least 20 to 1.

In its latest annual report released two weeks ago, Planned Parenthood shows that it continues to perform more than 320,000 abortions per year. The organization also boosted its profits by $21 million – 27 percent – from the prior year as the group also took in nearly $544 million in taxpayer funding.

The Department of Justice has launched a federal investigation into the practices of Planned Parenthood and its alleged profits from the sale of body parts of babies aborted in its clinics.

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