South Carolina Governor McMaster has issued an executive order directing state agencies to stop providing public funds in any form to any doctor or medical practice affiliated with an abortion clinic or operating at the same location as an abortion clinic.
The order, which was filed on August 24, also directs the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to seek waivers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to exclude abortion clinics from the state's Medicaid provider network.
The order states the SC DHHS must also coordinate with the Department of Health and Environmental Control to a list of all non-abortion women's health and family planning providers that are qualified for Medicare and Medicaid funding.
"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," Governor McMaster stated in an e-mail. "Taxpayer dollars must not directly or indirectly subsidize abortion providers like Planned Parenthood."
Planned Parenthood released a statement opposing the order, calling it a politically motivated plan to block women from getting preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Planned Parenthood said it serves 4,000 people each year in South Carolina.
“This is not over, and we’ll leave no stone unturned to protect our patients’ access to health care. Nearly 4,000 men, women, and young people in South Carolina turn to Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screenings, and other preventive care each year," stated Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, Chief Medical Officer, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "For many of our patients, we’re the only health care provider they see. Every person deserves the chance to lead a healthy life, no matter who you are or where you live.”
“Today’s executive order issued by Governor McMaster hurts South Carolinians in the name of politics," added Jenny Black, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. "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.”
Planned Parenthood said more than half of its health centers across the US are in rural or medically underserved areas with no other options for people needing reproductive healthcare.
McMaster's full executive order is below:
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