COLUMBIA, SC (WIS/AP) - On Friday, Governor Henry McMaster issued Executive Order 2018-21, which directs the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to utilize carry-forward funds to continue the Family Planning program and to terminate abortion clinics as Medicaid providers.
Among the governor's budget vetoes issued on July 5 was Veto No. 42, which nullified the Family Planning appropriation in DHHS's budget because some of those funds are received by abortion clinics.
"Although the State should not contract with abortion clinics for family planning services, the State also should not deny South Carolinians access to necessary medical care and important women's health and family planning services, which are provided by a variety of other non-governmental entities and governmental agencies," the governor said in a statement Friday.
McMaster cut some of the funds to Planned Parenthood from the state's $8 billion budget last week.
McMaster is running for re-election this year and said during his successful campaign to win the Republican nomination on June 26 that he would make sure no taxpayer money goes to abortion providers.
"Taxpayer dollars must not directly or indirectly subsidize abortion providers like Planned Parenthood," McMaster said. "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, but without performing abortions. That's why last year I directed state agencies to stop providing state or local funds to abortion clinics."
Other Republicans against abortion urged McMaster to veto $34 million from the $8 billion budget, but the governor's office said eliminating all the money would keep 700,000 women and children from getting prescriptions through Medicaid.
Some Republicans opposed removing the money, saying it was almost all for family planning and abstinence and less than $100,000 goes to Planned Parenthood. They say filling the hole left behind might hurt law enforcement or children with autism.