Planned Parenthood is suing the state of South Carolina in an attempt to overturn an executive order barring the abortion organization and any group that performs abortions from being a Medicaid provider.
Planned Parenthood alleges that South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, who passed an August 2017 executive order cutting off all funding to abortion clinics, violates state law by allowing Medicaid patients to visit select health care providers, The Associated Press reported Sunday.
The 2017 order states that no grants, contracts, or state-administered federal funds can go to support abortion clinics, and McMaster directed the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to exclude abortion clinics from South Carolina’s Medicaid network, meaning that they will no longer receive funding through the social program, according to 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 after he passed the August executive order. “Taxpayer dollars must not directly or indirectly subsidize abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.” (RELATED: CHANGES IN ABORTION LEGISLATION ARE SWEEPING ACROSS THE COUNTRY. HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW)
South Carolina’s governor will fight hard against the lawsuit so that taxpayer money does not fund abortion, according to McMaster spokesman Brian Symmes.
“We want abortion to be unthinkable,” said local pro-life activist Cheryle Freiberger in support of McMaster’s order, according to the Post and Courier.
Three clinics currently offer elective abortions in South Carolina.