Controversial Title X funding proposal before appropriations committee

Legislature Chamber

A controversial section of a budget bill will be before the Nebraska Legislature's appropriations committee Monday afternoon.

Section 71 of LB 944 would prohibit Title X funding from going to organizations that "perform or facilitate the performance of abortion or to counsel or refer for abortion."

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland said federal law requires Title X providers to give woman information about abortion if asked. They estimate 28,000 Nebraskans will lose access to health care under the proposal.

"It means that people may not realize they have some sort of infection and may go untreated. The health outcomes of that of course are also problematic for patients, problematic for our economy, problematic for taxpayers," said Meg Mikolajczyk, Planned Parent of the Heartland associate general counsel and senior public affair manager.

"Everybody can still apply for this. Every community will still be eligible for all these Title X dollars and it just, you have to be able to separate out the abortion activities and frankly that's what most Nebraskans want," said Governor Pete Ricketts, who requested the bill be introduced.

The special hearing in front of the appropriations committee starts at 1:30 p.m.

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