Today, state senators in Nebraska began debating the state budget. But for the legislature, this isn’t about planning out spending for the next year — it’s an attack on Nebraska women.
The budget — proposed by Nebraska’s notoriously anti-women governor, Pete Ricketts (R) — contains a dangerous new measure that eliminates funding to health centers that provide abortion, including Planned Parenthood. This would effectively end state funding for Title X, the federal program that 93 percent of Planned Parenthood patients in Nebraska rely on.
Ricketts (left) at a fundraiser with Vice President Mike Pence.
As a result, thousands of Nebraskans would lose access to critical family planning services. This means no more birth control, cancer screenings, or STI testing and treatment.
In 2015, Planned Parenthood health centers provided care to more than one-quarter of all Title X patients in the state, despite making up about five percent of all Title X providers in Nebraska.
The idea that other providers could absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients has been resoundingly dismissed by experts. The American Public Health Association called the idea “ludicrous.” Politicians in some states have even suggested women could go to “alternative” providers like dentists and school nurses instead.
That’s right: dentists and school nurses.
Make no mistake: This is a blatant attack on women and underserved communities. After all, 92 percent of Title X recipients are women, with the majority living at or below the federal poverty line. Additionally, due to discriminatory public policy, people of color, young people, and people living in rural areas who already face systemic barriers to accessing health care would be severely hurt.
But Governor Ricketts would rather block those people from critical care, simply because Planned Parenthood is an abortion provider.
Tell Governor Ricketts: DON’T TAKE AWAY OUR CARE!