South Carolina Lt. Gov. Will Block State Budget if It Funds Planned Parenthood

State   Micaiah Bilger   Jun 8, 2017   |   1:45PM    Columbia, South Carolina

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant signaled his commitment to protecting unborn babies this week by promising to reject next year’s budget if it funds abortion groups.

Bryant announced his plans during a press conference Tuesday, while pointing out that the current state budget does include money that could go to abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, WSPA reports.

“I will ratify this year’s budget, but this year’s budget contains funds that will go to abortion providers for services other than abortions,” Bryant said. “And I am under the conviction that anyone providing abortions should not have any business with the state; that no taxpayer dollars should go to evil organizations like Planned Parenthood.”

Bryant urged state legislators to pass a budget next year that strips funding from abortion groups. If they do not, Bryant said he will not ratify it.

According to Greenville Online:

Bills approved by legislators, including the budget, cannot become law unless they are ratified by the speaker of the state House of Representatives and the lieutenant governor, who serves as the state Senate’s presiding officer.

The lieutenant governor’s plans are just part of a series of steps state officials are taking to ensure groups that perform abortions do not receive taxpayer dollars. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers often receive tax funding through multiple streams in state and federal budgets, so finding those funding streams and cutting off every one takes time.

In keeping with this goal, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster wrote a letter on June 5 to the board of the state Department of Health and Environmental Control to make sure Title X grants are not being given to Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups, according to the local news.

The governor asked the board to vote to reaffirm that the department will not distribute the federal grant money to abortion groups in the state.

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Post and Courier reports more:

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic spokeswoman Vicki Ringer said in a statement that the organization does not receive Title X funding or any other grants from South Carolina.

Planned Parenthood does, however, serve patients who use Medicaid, which can be used to reimburse providers for abortions. The law allows Medicaid to pay for abortions in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger.

Planned Parenthood does more abortions than any other group in the United States. In 2015, it performed 328,348 abortions on unborn babies, nearly 5,000 more than the previous year. It also receives about half a billion taxpayer dollars each year.

In March, President Donald Trump offered to support an increase in taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood if it stopped doing abortions, but Planned Parenthood refused.

CEO Cecile Richards called the offer “obscene and insulting,” making it very clear that abortions – not women’s health care – are essential to Planned Parenthood.

In January, a congressional investigation into the abortion business involving its sales of aborted baby parts concluded with lawmakers recommended that U.S. Congress defund it. Planned Parenthood also has been caught in numerous scandals involving Medicaid fraud and failures to report suspected sex trafficking and sexual abuse of minors.