Health Care

South Carolina governor cuts off funding for abortion clinics in executive order

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South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) demanded that state agencies cut off state and local funds to abortion clinics in an executive order Friday. 

The order directs state agencies to cease providing funds, whether via grant, contract, state-administered federal funds or “any other form,” to any abortion clinic. 

McMaster also directed the state’s Department of Health and Human Services to seek waivers from the federal government allowing it to exclude abortion clinics from the state’s Medicaid provider network. 

“There are a variety of agencies, clinics, and medical entities in South Carolina that receive taxpayer funding to offer important women’s health and family planning services without performing abortions,” McMaster said in a statement.
“Taxpayer dollars must not directly or indirectly subsidize abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.”

According to The Post and Courier, only three clinics offer elective abortions in South Carolina, including one Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia. 

“Today’s executive order issued by Governor McMaster hurts South Carolinians in the name of politics,” Jenny Black, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, said in a statement.

“While he throws women under the bus to score political points, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic will continue to focus on providing the wide-range of accessible, affordable health care services that our patients, and his constituents, rely on. We will not stop fighting to protect our patients’ access to health care.”

A federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked a similar attempt to cut off Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood. 

The state’s attorney general said Texas would appeal the ruling. 

—Updated at 12:10 p.m.


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