South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster (R) has issued an executive order that cuts public funding to abortion clinics in the state.

McMaster demanded that the state’s Medicaid agency ask the “federal government to exclude abortion clinics from the state’s Medicaid provider.”

The Post and Courier reported that the order specifically states that federal funds will not go to “any physician or professional medical practice affiliated with an abortion clinic and operating concurrently with and in the same physical, geographic location or footprint as an abortion clinic.”

From The Hill:

“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.”

South Carolina only has three clinics that offer elective abortions. Columbia houses the only Planned Parenthood in the state that has elective abortions. The Post and Courier named the “Greenville Women’s Clinic in the Upstate and the Charleston Women’s Medical Center in West Ashley” as the other clinics that offer abortions.

Federal law already does not allow Medicaid money to fund an abortion “with exceptions for cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger.

The Medicaid program has provided “less than $75,000” to the Planned Parenthood in Columbia last year. The data shows that the money went towards “family planning services for Medicaid beneficiaries, such as prescribing birth control.”

Of course, Planned Parenthood called the executive order a political stunt:

Planned Parenthood released a statement on the matter, saying McMaster’s executive order was nothing more than a “political stunt.”

“While he spends taxpayers’ time and money on scoring 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,” the statement said.

Actually, along with the order, McMaster told the “DHEC [Department of Health and Environmental Control] and the state Department of Health and Human Services to make available to the public a listing of all qualified non-abortion women’s health and family planning providers operating within a 25-mile radius of any abortion clinic excluded from the state’s Medicaid provider network.”

McMaster has been gearing up for the 2018 election. He took over the governorship after President Donald Trump named Nikki Haley as his ambassador to the UN. Other potential Republican nominees have already made it known they plan to take a strong stance against abortion providers in the state.

This includes Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, who, this year, filed “the Personhood Act of South Carolina, which attempts to define ‘person’ at fertilization.”


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