Gov. Ricketts proposes cutting federal funding for abortion clinics

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LINCOLN, Neb. – On Wednesday morning, Governor Ricketts will deliver his State of the State to Nebraska Senators, which includes his budget proposals. One of which would cut any federal funding to health providers that offer abortions.

The funding is specifically called Title X. Traditionally, it's given to preventative health care and family planning clinics, like Planned Parenthood.

But, those federal funds have to pass through the state. And last year, Congress passed a resolution allowing states more leeway when it comes to allocating that money.

"Nebraska is a pro-life state, so our budget should reflect our values," said Gov. Ricketts.

To do this, Gov. Ricketts plans to eliminate any Title X funding for clinics who use pro-choice operations.

"Any organization can have access to these dollars as long as they don't provide abortions," said Gov. Ricketts.

Planned Parenthood is one of those organizations, and they said they're the only one in Nebraska who performs abortions and receives Title X dollars.

"It's a really big shame that the Governor is being so short-sided and taking people's health care and politicizing it in this way," said Meg Mikolaczyk, the senior public affairs manager for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

Mikolaczyk said they do not use the federal funds for abortions. The Hyde Amendment, dating back to 1976, prevents it.

"In fact, Title X is actually a great way to prevent unintended pregnancies because it's used for family planning, STI screenings, cancer screenings, it's used for sexual assault victims to get the care that they need. It's a really great program," said Mikolaczyk.

1011 asked Gov. Ricketts, for the people who are using Planned Parenthood now for their healthcare, where will they turn to?

He responded "Again any organization can have access to these dollars as long as they don't perform abortions."

So under the Governor's plan, even though Planned Parenthood doesn't use federal dollars to perform abortions, they would lose all Title X funding.

They said this leaves 8,000 families in Lincoln and Omaha without a healthcare provider.

"It's an attack on everyone in Nebraska having the right to choose who they get healthcare from. But this is really an attack, particularly, on Nebraska women of reproductive age," said Mikolaczyk.

Again, the Governor plans to give his overall budget plan Wednesday morning. The state's senators will then spend the next several weeks debating the proposals.