Gov. Pete Ricketts recommends the legislature end funding family planning clinics which offer abortions, including those run by Planned Parenthood.
Ricketts says federal Title X funding, which totals $1.9 million in Nebraska, should not flow to clinics which provide abortions.
“Anybody can apply for those, but just can’t use them to fund abortions,” Ricketts tells reporters when asked about the recommendation. “That’s something that we’ve done at the federal level for decades, that we don’t use federal tax dollars to fund abortions. We’re merely saying we’re going to continue that policy in our state budget; that anybody can apply for those dollars, you just can’t use them to fund abortions, you’ve got to have a separate entity if you’re going to do that, but you can apply and use them for other sorts of health care needs.”
The recommendation would effectively cut off funding to Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
Title X funding pays for contraceptives, cervical cancer screening, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases as well as related services, primarily for low-income women.
The federal funding cannot be used for abortions, but the recommendation from the governor goes a step further. It would prohibit Title X funding from going to any family planning clinic which performs abortions. To receive federal funding, a separate clinic which offers family planning services, but doesn’t perform abortions, would have to be established.
“Anybody can apply for these dollars,” according to Ricketts. “What our policy is, is just those Title X dollars that we pass through from the federal government can’t be used to fund abortions.”
Ricketts attempted to steer the funding way from Planned Parenthood last year. The Appropriations Committee approved the restrictions, but they were removed before the full legislature approved the $8.9 billion state budget.
The federal money passes through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to clinics which offer family planning.