South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster cut off all funding going to abortion clinics in an executive order Friday.
The 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 Friday. “Taxpayer dollars must not directly or indirectly subsidize abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.”
“The government should not be supporting [abortions],” local pro-life activist Cheryle Freiberger said in support of McMaster’s order, according to the Post and Courier. “We want abortion to be unthinkable.”
Abortion advocates and pro-choice groups lament the order and see it as an affront to women. “Today’s executive order issued by Governor McMaster hurts South Carolinians in the name of politics,” Jenny Black, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, said in a statement.
“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,” Black added. Three clinics currently offer elective abortions in South Carolina.
Planned Parenthood has not yet threatened a legal attack in response, but its chief medical officer, Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, said Friday that this “is not over.”