South Carolina Gov Cuts Off All Abortion Funding In Executive Order

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When McMaster wrote to state health officials in June asking the agency to symbolically reaffirm it wouldn't send any federal grant money to abortion providers, Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant warned he wouldn't sign off on a budget request if a single penny went either directly or indirectly to Planned Parenthood. Federal law already prohibits patients from using Medicaid to cover abortions-with exceptions for incest, rape, or when a mother's life is in danger-but this exclusion would prevent Medicaid users from seeking other healthcare services from any clinic that provides abortion services.

Three clinics now offer elective abortions in SC.

SC gets about $5.6 million annually in Title X funds that it distributes to health care clinics, none of which are abortion providers, for family planning and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, according to state officials.

McMaster also directed the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services to seek waivers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to allow the agency to exclude abortion clinics from the state's Medicaid provider network, the release stated.

In a statement, Planned Parenthood called the order from McMaster, who is seeking re-election next year, "politically motivated". 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.

It's unclear if McMaster's new executive order would withstand a potential legal challenge. They include one clinic operated by Planned Parenthood in Columbia.

Republicans in Washington and across the nation have targeted Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in recent years.

A receptionist at the Greenville clinic told the Post & Courier that its office does not file any insurance or receive any government funding, and a receptionist in Charleston said its clinic would not be affected. In it, he wrote, "services related to pregnancy care, fertility and cancer screenings may be offered in many ways, without state subsidization of abortion providers".

The Medicaid program has provided "less than $75,000" to the Planned Parenthood in Columbia previous year.

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