by Steven Ertelt
May 4, 2005
Lincoln, NE (LifeNews.com) — Nebraska lawmakers have approved a new statewide program that will provide women with abortion alternatives. The system, similar to a Pennsylvania program credited with lower abortions there, will be funded with federal funds and help connect women with local pregnancy centers.
Sen. Mike Foley’s amendment to the state budget containing his idea received a 25-10 vote on the Nebraska unicameral legislature.
Under the measure, Nebraska will use $500,000 in federal funds to pay for the new program, based on Real Alternatives in Pennsylvania. It would offer information and services for women including parenting classes, free ultrasounds, medical tests and other forms of assistance.
The program could not promote abortion or refer pregnant women to abortion businesses.
"This is a meaningful way to assist women who are pregnant," Foley said, according to an AP report.
Yet a leading pro-abortion legislator criticized the proposal as a way to stop legal abortions.
"This is a religion-skewed approach," Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers told the Associated Press. "This is an anti-abortion amendment."
Sen. DiAnne Schimek filed a motion to reconsider the vote, but it failed on a 27-14 vote.
Gov. Dave Heineman backs Foley’s program as do leading pro-life groups such as Nebraska Right to Life, the Nebraska Catholic Conference, and Family First.
Related web sites:
Nebraska Legislature: https://www.unicam.state.ne.us/index.htm