“Ricketts’ plan to defund planned parenthood would harm women and the economy”

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Jessica Wade
OPINION EDITOR

Gov. Pete Ricketts proposed a plan to lawmakers last week that would end state funding for any health clinic that offers abortion.

Planned Parenthood responded to the proposal by expressing the concern that 8,000 Nebraskans would lose access to healthcare services, and the federal money of concern does not fund abortions.

“Nebraska is a pro-life state, and the state’s budget should reflect those values,” Ricketts said. “Thanks to action by Congress, Nebraska can now take new steps to protect unborn life by ensuring that these dollars are not used to fund abortion.”

Those “actions by Congress” make it easier for states to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups. A mistake and step backward not only for women’s reproductive rights, but for the Nebraska economy.

The anti-abortion, pro-abortion rights debate is typically centered on the struggle for balance between women’s health and rights and the health and rights of the unborn, but what about the economic implications?

On a national scale, the defunding of Planned Parenthood, which is one of the nation’s largest reproductive healthcare providers, would deny basic healthcare to millions. Healthcare that includes aid with unintended pregnancies, cervical cancer and sexually transmitted disease.

Multiple studies on multiple platforms have shown again and again that when women can plan their pregnancy, their level of education and financial security drastically increases.

According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, out of all women obtaining contraceptive care at publicly funded clinics, 63 percent reported birth control had allowed them to take better care of themselves or their families, and 56 percent said it allowed them to take care of themselves financially. A recent study by the National Institute for Reproductive Health found that 72 percent of Pennsylvania voters said a woman’s ability to control the timing and size of her family impacts her financial stability.

Ricketts’ concerns surrounding Planned Parenthood are ironic in more ways than one. The financial concern is laughable considering the death penalty backed so fiercely by Ricketts costs Nebraskans upward of $14 million each year.

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