The Nebraska state budget bill has advanced, but without a key pro-life provision that would have re-prioritized funding for Title X recipients.

Title X and the Pro Life Cause

First, what is Title X funding and how is it related to the pro life cause? Title X refers to a federal grant program dedicated to comprehensive family planning and related preventative health services. States receive grants under this program to distribute to clinics that provide family planning services. Qualified clinics can include health centers, family planning clinics, abortion clinics, Planned Parenthood, etc. [1]

States can prioritize distribution of Title X federal funds to go towards clinics that have the most comprehensive services. This means that abortion clinics with limited services may not receive as much funding as federally qualified health centers (FQHC). These types of clinics serve men, women, and children and provide a broad range of services.

Nebraska and Title X

The state budget bill, LB327, contained a provision that would do just that: re-prioritize distribution of Title X federal funds. If passed, it would have significantly decreased taxpayer funding for abortion providers in Nebraska. Furthermore, it would have done this without decreasing total funds for women’s healthcare services.

Planned Parenthood is not only the number one abortion provider, but the top benefactor of Title X funds in Nebraska. Like most Nebraskans, we believe it’s reasonable to prioritize funding for health care providers who have more comprehensive family planning services – not just abortion.

Re-prioritizing Title X distribution rewards offering comprehensive healthcare. As a result, it reforms a defective program by ensuring funds go to providers with the most services for their community.

Nebraska Senators Reject Reprioritization of Title X Funds

In a disappointing end to what would have been a major pro-life victory, state senators voted to remove this language from the state budget bill during select file debate after successfully advancing the bill to second round voting with the language intact.

Although all current Title X recipients would still be eligible to receive funds, concerns were raised about clinics in rural communities who do not offer abortions also losing funds.

Democrat and pro-choice senators seized this talking-point and filibustered the entire state budget bill over the Title X provision. Opponents refused to move on to the rest of the nearly 150 page bill even after the first attempt to remove the language was unsuccessful.

An amendment was filed to clarify that clinics in rural areas would not lose funds, but senators did not get a chance to vote on it until the Title X language had already been removed.

After forcing a cloture vote on first round, senators advanced the budget with the Title X provision in place. However, upon reaching select file opponents filed more amendments to remove the language. The more time passed, senators began to waver and wanted to move on to address the rest of the budget.

Find Out How Your Senator Voted

On their third attempt, opponents were able to reach the 25 votes necessary to strike the language. See how your Senator voted here.

Nebraskans shouldn’t have to see their hard-earned tax dollars go to the nation’s largest abortion provider. Senators missed an opportunity to send funding to more deserving healthcare providers who offer the most comprehensive services.

While the attempt failed this year, the legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee will conduct an interim study on this issue. This will provide more information and clarity moving forward.

Nebraska Family Alliance will continue working to protect your tax dollars, and more importantly, the sanctity of human life.

[1] Not every family planning clinic performs abortions and not all health centers that provide services to low-income and uninsured individuals receives or accepts Title X funding. Pregnancy resource centers, for example, that provide free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, training and counseling don’t receive any federal funds.

Nate Grasz

Nate Grasz

Policy Director
Nate is the Policy Director of Nebraska Family Alliance and host of Capitol Connection, a weekly radio show on KCRO Christian Radio and available on iTunes.