Nebraska's unicameral legislature is deadlocked over a provision in the state's budget bill that would strip Title X funds from abortion providers.

The provision, supported by Gov. Pete Ricketts, would allow access to federal funding for family planning and health services only to Nebraska providers "objectively independent" - physically and financially separated - from clinics providing abortions.  

The state's legislators have twice failed to pass the proposed $8.8 billion budget after debating the provision, which was introduced following reports from the state's auditor that some Title X funds have wrongly gone to abortion-related expenses in health clinics.

Last week, Ricketts told CNA that "What we have seen in Nebraska is that these Title X dollars, according to a couple of our audits, have been used to fund abortions."  

Results from a poll conducted over the weekend suggest that 64 percent of surveyed Nebraskans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion. Seventeen percent of those surveyed report being undecided on the matter, and 19 percent say they support taxpayer funding for abortion. As the legislature remains deadlocked on the issue, 66 percent of those surveyed say that state legislators have a duty to vote on the budget, rather than allow it to be filibustered.
The poll was conducted by Public Survey Research, an Iowa-based polling firm.

"Nebraska is a pro-life state, and that our budget ought to reflect that," Ricketts told CNA March 22. "I believe that abortion is inherently wrong, so personally I do not want to see those dollars to go to that, but in general even those who are pro-choice understand that it's bad policy to have federal tax dollars fund something that is so controversial and really ought not be funded by fed tax dollars."