South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is not giving up on his promise to protect his state taxpayers from funding the largest abortion group in America, Planned Parenthood.
On Thursday, McMaster said he plans to contest a judge’s ruling blocking his efforts, WCNC News reports.
“My position is the taxpayers of South Carolina who do not support the promotion of abortion should not have to support with their tax money the promotion of abortion, and that’s what Planned Parenthood does any way you look at it,” McMaster told reporters.
In July, McMaster took a bold stance against the abortion industry by vetoing a health care spending bill that included tax dollars for Planned Parenthood. A week later, he followed up by issuing an executive order instructing the state Department of Health and Human Services to “terminate abortion clinics as Medicaid providers,” according to the local news.
However, the abortion chain filed a lawsuit to block his executive order.
Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis issued a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction blocking the state from cutting off Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid program.
Responding to the ruling Thursday, the governor said he will not back down on his promise. He said he plans to continue pursuing a waiver from the federal government to allow South Carolina to defund the abortion chain.
“We hope to win that point and I have finished the paperwork,” he said. “It took a while to get an exemption from the federal government rules.”
The governor’s spokesperson Brian Symmes echoed the governor’s words Tuesday after the judge’s ruling.
“[McMaster] will continue to fight until every South Carolinian can know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their taxpayer dollars are not being used to perform abortions,” Symmes said. “… he will continue to do all that he can to make sure no taxpayer dollars either directly or indirectly subsidize abortions in South Carolina.”
In the past several years, the Republican governor and legislature have cut various streams of funding to the abortion chain, but Planned Parenthoods in the state still received $82,000 in Medicaid funds in 2017, according to local news reports.
Earlier in August, attorneys for the state defended the cuts, arguing that Planned Parenthood serves a “remarkably low” number of Medicaid patients. According to the abortion group’s own statements, its South Carolina facilities see fewer than 300 Medicaid patients a year.
Last year, McMaster instructed the state Department of Health and Human Services to request a waiver from the federal government to defund abortion groups of Medicaid dollars. That waver has not yet been granted, but McMaster said he will not back down.
In May, he described Planned Parenthood as a “blemish on the great character of the people of South Carolina and this country.”
The governor continued: “I’m going to do all I can do to see they get no taxpayer money. I can accomplish that. And I will, along with President Trump.”
Three years ago, state officials discovered that all three abortion clinics in South Carolina violated multiple state laws and regulations, including the improper disposal of aborted babies’ bodies, LifeNews reported. The abortion clinics, along with two waste disposal companies, faced fines of up to $51,000 for dumping aborted babies’ bodies into a public landfill, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Planned Parenthood aborts approximately 320,000 unborn babies every year, more than any other group in the United States. Its most recent annual report showed a record income of $1.46 billion, with about half a billion dollars coming from taxpayers.
In December, the U.S. Department of Justice said it is investigating whether the Planned Parenthood abortion chain illegally sold aborted baby body parts.