A long-shot attempt to repeal state-funded prenatal care services for illegal immigrants is drawing criticism from a variety of Nebraska groups.
Advocates for children, immigrants and medical clinics gathered at the Capitol Thursday to oppose a bill by Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont. Janssen, a Republican candidate for governor, presented the repeal measure to the Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee.
Lawmakers restored coverage last year for the unborn children of the women after a bitter fight in both the Legislature and with Gov. Dave Heineman.
Opponents accused Janssen of exploiting the issue for political gain. Janssen says he introduced the bill because the Legislature has new members who have not yet weighed in on the issue.
The bill is unlikely to advance. More than half of the committee's members voted last year to restore the services, arguing that it would protect the health of unborn children and help them avoid more expensive medical problems later in life. Opponents of the law argued at the time that the bill rewards illegal behavior at taxpayer expense.