Triggering praise, criticism and some confusion, Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order Friday cutting off all public funding to health care providers affiliated with abortion clinics in South Carolina.
In the order, he also directed the South Carolina Medicaid agency to seek permission from the federal government to exclude abortion clinics from the state’s Medicaid provider network.
“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 press release about the order.
“Taxpayer dollars must not directly or indirectly subsidize abortion providers like Planned Parenthood,” he added.
Three clinics offer elective abortions in South Carolina, but only one of them is a Planned Parenthood clinic, in Columbia. Federal law already prohibits Medicaid money from being used to pay for abortions, with exceptions for cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger.
Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, the chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, issued a statement Friday vowing “(t)his is not over.”