by Steven Ertelt
March 15, 2006
Lincoln, NE (LifeNews.com) — A Nebraska pro-life lawmaker has put forward a proposal to try to shift the state’s family planning funding away from Planned Parenthood because some of its centers perform abortions. The abortion business is objecting because it could result in shutting down one of their facilities.
Lincoln Sen. Mike Foley says the money should go to other centers that offer the same family planning services but don’t also perform abortions. He also said it would make health care for women more accessible.
The Nebraska legislature ended up supporting Foley’s proposal on a 29-6 vote and just 18 members voted for a procedural attempt to reconsider the vote, short of the 25 needed.
"No woman should ever have to travel 91 miles to receive a pap smear," he said during the debate, according to an AP report.
He also said the only family planning clinics in Lincoln, for example, are run by Planned Parenthood and he explained that people deserve to go somewhere else.
"This opens the door to other providers,” he said.
Currently the state’s Health and Human Services System funds only 14 family planning centers to the tune of $519,000. The money can’t be used to pay for abortions or abortion referrals, but it can go to Planned Parenthood, which performs abortions.
Bobbie Kierstad, public policy director for Planned Parenthood of Nebraska and Council Bluffs, told the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper that the state family planning money represents about 3.4 percent of the abortion businesses current income.
According to an AP report, Sen. Nancy Thompson condemned Foley’s proposal and she claimed he was avoiding addressing the real goals of his measure.
"Don’t destroy what we’ve already got in place and works well," she said.
Because of the abortion debate, Speaker of the Legislature Kermit Brashear delayed further proceedings on the main state budget until Wednesday. Lawmakers may wind up doubling the amount of family planning funds to make up for the decrease each center will get by spreading the money around further.
Related web sites:
Nebraska state legislature – https://www.unicam.state.ne.us