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Defending Unborn Children

By Governor Pete Ricketts
October 9, 2015

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Every year, Nebraskans gather in over 50 communities to participate in the ‪Life Chain, an event that celebrates the sanctity of life and shows support for unborn children.  Recently during this event, I had the opportunity to thank some of the many dedicated ‪‎pro-life Nebraskans who have faithfully given countless hours towards advancing pro-life principles through the years.  It was a great reminder that we can continue to protect unborn children here in our state by working together.

Protecting Nebraska’s truly vulnerable and guarding the sanctity of life are core duties of government and each one of us.  Because of the countless Nebraskans who recognize this, our state has built a national reputation as a pro-life state, and over the years we have passed many laws protecting the unborn.  The hard work of pro-life legislators, including the work of our Lt. Governor Mike Foley when he served in the Unicameral, has received high marks from national pro-life organizations.  For Nebraskans, being pro-life is not a partisan issue because treating all Nebraskans with dignity and respect, is a way of life in our state.

A recent video investigation of the largest national abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, has served as a solemn reminder that abortion kills thousands of unborn babies in our state and across our nation every year.  Videos from this investigation revealed top Planned Parenthood doctors negotiating prices for the body parts of aborted babies.  This callous disregard for human life has intensified with each successive video revealing new horrifying detail about the abortion industry’s attempts to profit from the destruction of human life.

As videos have continued to surface from the investigation, many Nebraskans have expressed to me how appalled they are by the abortion industry’s attitude toward the unborn.  Unfortunately, abortion providers are trying to put their spin on the facts, claiming that defunding them would increase the number of abortions in the United States because it would negatively impact other services provided at their clinics.  The abortion industry often claims that they provide irreplaceable medical services.  The evidence is inconsistent with this claim.  For example, according to the Chiaroscuro Foundation, Planned Parenthood is the primary care provider for only 19,700 of its 3 million clients.

Here in Nebraska, the numbers speak for themselves.  There are only two abortion providers with a total of three clinics in our state that provide limited services.  Across America, there are over 1,200 federally qualified healthcare centers, including six in Nebraska.  Additionally, my budget recommendation this year, which was approved by the Legislature, contained funding for a seventh Nebraska clinic.  These healthcare clinics provide basic healthcare services to both men and women, and have a broader network and reach across the United States.

Today, Planned Parenthood receives over $500 million of your taxpayer dollars annually.  In Washington, D.C., Nebraska Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse are working tirelessly with a bipartisan group of senators to defund Planned Parenthood.  As Congress considers their priorities, it is important that they continue to seek new ways to protect the unborn.

My administration will always serve as an advocate for the unborn, and we are continuously looking for new ways to protect our unborn children and their mothers.  As you think about how we can work together to continue to build a culture that values life and grows Nebraska, I encourage you to share your thoughts with my office by calling at 402-471-2244 or emailing