South Carolina Governor Halts All Funding for Abortion Clinics

AP/Stacie Freudenberg

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order Friday that eliminates all state and local funding to health centers and providers affiliated with abortion clinics.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, McMaster’s executive order has:

Directed state agencies to cease providing state or local funds, whether via grant, contract, state-administered federal funds, or any other form, 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.

Additionally the Republican governor has directed the state’s health department to apply for waivers from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to exclude abortion clinics from South Carolina’s list of Medicaid providers. The state will make available a “user-friendly list” of all qualified women’s health providers that do not perform abortions and are located within a 25-mile radius of abortion clinics that are no longer on the state’s Medicaid provider list.

“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,” said the governor. “Taxpayer dollars must not directly or indirectly subsidize abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.”

The Post and Courier notes that three clinics perform elective abortions in South Carolina – including one that is a Planned Parenthood affiliate.

Planned Parenthood condemned the move by McMaster on Twitter:

Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, the chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, issued a statement Friday in which she said 4,000 patients are receiving health care at Planned Parenthood clinics in South Carolina each year.

“And we’ll leave no stone unturned to protect our patients’ access to health care,” she added.

However, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, thanked McMaster for protecting taxpayers and ensuring their money funds comprehensive care for women and families, rather than facilities that are tied to the highly controversial issue of abortion. Dannenfelser said:

Governor McMaster’s additional request that South Carolina be allowed to cut off Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding through Medicaid and instead fund community health centers should be granted. The Trump Administration should immediately offer the same Medicaid flexibility to all states. Federally supported comprehensive health care entities outnumber the abortion chain by more than 20 to one nationwide, and by a whopping 134 to one in South Carolina.

Much of Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funds are received through Medicaid reimbursements and allow the group to be viewed as a provider of health care services. The organization’s own recently released annual report, however, shows its profits, taxpayer funding, and number of abortions performed have all increased over the past year, while many of its non-abortion services–such as contraception, cancer screenings, and prenatal services–have decreased over the same period.

Nevertheless, Planned Parenthood is advertising itself as a “healthcare provider,” and its president, Cecile Richards, has testified before Congress that, “abortion is healthcare.”

Planned Parenthood also receives funding through federal family planning grants. In April, President Donald Trump signed a resolution that overturns former President Barack Obama’s rule that forced states to provide family planning grants under Title X to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

A federal appeals court also ruled last week that Arkansas may block Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid reimbursement funding in response to the release of videos by undercover journalists that exposed the abortion chain’s alleged profiteering from the sales of aborted baby parts.

In a 2-1 decision, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed preliminary injunctions that prohibited Arkansas from eliminating Planned Parenthood from its list of healthcare providers eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.

The authors of a recently released report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) – the research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List – find that Planned Parenthood depends primarily on its abortion-centered business model and is not a significant provider of medical care in the United States, despite its self-promotion as an “irreplaceable” and “life-saving” healthcare provider.

The report observes that Planned Parenthood provides less than 1.4 percent of the nation’s HIV tests and less than one percent of pap tests and that in the last five years, service-to-client ratios for breast exams and pap tests have declined by 37 percent.

“There is little or no demonstrable capability for definitive diagnosis or a range of treatments for any disease or condition at Planned Parenthood centers,” write CLI President Chuck Donovan and Vice President and Director of Data Analytics Dr. James Studnicki. “With the exception of abortion, Planned Parenthood does not provide any service that is not easily available from alternative providers.”


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