LINCOLN—Nebraska Right to Life welcomes the news that Nebraska’s three abortion facilities have received recent inquiries and visits from investigators with the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS). The three facilities are Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in Omaha and Lincoln and LeRoy Carhart’s facility in Bellevue.
“As designated ‘health clinics’, Nebraska’s abortion facilities have received little scrutiny over the years,” said Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life. “Governor Ricketts is being pro-active in the wake of the Planned Parenthood video expose, asking DHHS to look more closely at the facilities’ records and procedures.”
The Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal-Star both reported on the investigation.
“While Planned Parenthood of the Heartland claims they are only found lacking in the timely filing of monthly reports, we await an apparent State Auditor’s investigation into the flow-through of Federal funds through State coffers to the facilities,” said Schmit-Albin. Abortion facilities receive federal funding through Medicaid and Title X reproductive health programs.
She also noted that nothing has been revealed about how LeRoy Carhart’s clinic stacked up in the DHHS investigation.
“Among other things, Carhart was the first supplier of aborted fetal tissue in the State back in 1999 when it was revealed he was supplying fetal tissue to the University of Nebraska Medical Center,” said Schmit-Albin. “UNMC severed that relationship but pro-life Nebraskans wonder if Carhart is still a supplier of fetal tissue and to what entity.”
“While Carhart took his extreme late-term abortion business to Germantown, Maryland, once the Nebraska legislature passed the fetal pain ban on abortion at 20 weeks and beyond, he returns weekly to Bellevue to do abortions up to 20 weeks gestation,” Schmit-Albin said.
Schmit-Albin also said the investigations bring back into the debate the need for the Legislature to pass LB 114. Senator Beau McCoy’s bill would change the DHHS designation of abortion facilities from ‘health clinics’ to meet the higher standards required of ‘ambulatory surgical centers.’
“The fact remains that Nebraska abortion facilities still fly largely under the radar because they do not have to meet the stricter standards that ambulatory surgical centers do,” said Schmit-Albin. “That needs to change and LB 114 is the way to do it.”