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Planned Parenthood sues South Carolina to restore $15 million of axed abortion funding

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COLUMBIA, South Carolina, July 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood is going to court in South Carolina in hopes of reversing an executive order excluding it from the state’s Medicaid plan.

Earlier this month, Republican Gov. Henry McMaster used his line-item veto to strip more than $15 million in tax dollars to abortionists out of the latest state budget, $100,000 of which would have gone specifically to Planned Parenthood facilities. He also issued an executive order disqualifying abortion facilities as Medicaid providers.

“I have stated many times I am opposed to what Planned Parenthood is doing. And the veto I have is the most direct way,” McMaster explained. “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 offering abortions.”

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and a patient filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Friday seeking a preliminary injunction against the order, the Post and Courier reports. They argue that both judicial precedent and federal law establish that Medicaid patients can visit any qualified provider they want, including Planned Parenthood.

“The women and men who come to Planned Parenthood for healthcare aren’t doing so to make a political statement,” Planned Parenthood South Atlantic CEO Jenny Black claimed. “Every day that this continues, both (Planned Parenthood) and our patients are irreparably harmed.”

In actual fact, however, legitimate providers of women’s health services dwarf abortion-involved facilities across the country. As of 2015, federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics outnumbered Planned Parenthood facilities 268 to 2 in South Carolina. Today, Planned Parenthood still has just two locations in the Palmetto state. Abortion.com lists a total of four abortion centers in South Carolina.

Defunding measures have a proven track record of reducing abortion rates, pro-lifers argue.

Fertility and unintended pregnancy rates were “fairly stable” for the past 35 years while the abortion rate dropped 50 percent from its peak in 1980, Charlotte Lozier Institute scholar and Ave Maria University professor Dr. Michael New told LifeSiteNews last year. “As such, it is difficult to argue that increased contraception use is responsible for America's long term abortion decline.” But “there is a substantial body of academic research which shows that a range of protective pro-life laws reduce abortion rates.”

“Gov. McMaster ordered (Health and Human Services) to continue reimbursing family planning providers because he recognizes how important those services are,” McMaster spokesman Brian Symmes responded in a statement Friday. “But like millions of South Carolinians, he believes in the fundamental right to life for unborn children and does not believe tax dollars should go to organizations that perform elective abortions, and he will fight this foolish lawsuit with everything he has.”

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