South Carolina Governor Ends State Funding to Abortion Facilities

Photo Credit: Ryan Johnson

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Republican governor of South Carolina has announced that he has ordered state agencies to discontinue providing funds to abortion facilities, and has also directed the state Department of Health and Human Services to request a waiver from the federal government to end Medicaid funding to such locations.

“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,” Gov. Henry McMaster said in a statement on Friday. “Taxpayer dollars must not directly or indirectly subsidize abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.”

The order notes that “South Carolina has a strong culture and longstanding tradition of protecting and defending the life and liberty of the unborn” and that the state legislature has concluded that family planning funds should not be used for abortion. McMaster agrees that South Carolina does not need to fund abortion facilities in order to provide women with family planning services.

“I hereby direct all state agencies to take any and all necessary actions … to cease providing state or local funds, whether via grant, contract, state-ministered federal funds, or any other form, to any physician or professional medical practice affiliated with an abortion clinic and operating concurrently with and in the same physical, geographic location or footprint as an abortion clinic,” the order reads.

McMaster also ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to create a publicly available list of women’s health and family planning offices operating within 25 miles of any abortion facility. There are three abortion facilities in the state, one of which is run by Planned Parenthood.

The organization criticized the governor’s move on Friday, calling it “political.”

“Today’s executive order issued by Governor McMaster hurts South Carolinians in the name of politics,” Jenny Black, president 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.”

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However, pro-life organizations cheered the development, stating that taxpayers should not have their money distributed to entities that kill children.

“South Carolina Citizens for Life applauds the stand that the governor has taken by discontinuing taxpayer funding of abortion facilities,” said Lisa Van Riper of South Carolina Citizens for Life. “Taxpayers should not have to pay for the willful killing of unborn children.”

According to government records, over 5,700 abortions were performed in South Carolina in 2016. Planned Parenthood’s Columbia location performed 1,722 of those abortions.

As previously reported, Philadelphia legal writer, educator and Christian apologist Francis Wharton, who wrote several books on American law, penned an entire chapter on abortion in his book “American Criminal Law,” which was published in 1855.

Wharton called abortionists “persons who are ready to degrade their humanity to this occupation” and stated in regard to abortion in general, “Such conduct cannot be too strongly condemned, and is the more deserving of receiving the punishment awarded for the criminal offense in question.”

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