A federal court ruled against South Carolina leaders’ efforts to defund the abortion chain Planned Parenthood again this week.
The decision came from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the latest news in a years-long effort to protect state taxpayer dollars from subsidizing the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
In 2018, Republican Gov. Henry McMaster signed an executive order instructing the state Department of Health and Human Services to “terminate abortion clinics as Medicaid providers.” Planned Parenthood challenged the order in court, and a judge blocked the state from enforcing the order a few months later.
The Post and Courier reports the Fourth Circuit agreed with the judge’s ruling Tuesday, arguing that Medicaid recipients have the freedom to choose a health care provider.
The state “did not contend that PPSAT (Planned Parenthood South Atlantic) was providing subpar service to its Medicaid patients, or to any other patients,” the ruling states. “Instead, PPSAT was terminated solely because it performed abortions outside of the Medicaid program.”
McMaster promised to fight the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.
“Most taxpayers in this state do not favor their money being spent on abortions,” he told CBS News. “We intend to take the case, follow up and go to the Supreme Court.”
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Medicaid cannot use taxpayer funds to pay for abortions, except in limited cases; however, the taxpayer funds that Planned Parenthood receives through the program do subsidize abortions, McMaster said.
“They promote abortions. They don’t just give them. They promote abortions,” he told CBS.
McMaster and the state legislature have made multiple efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, which does about 330,000 abortions a year in the U.S. In 2017, McMaster also instructed the department to request a waiver from the federal government to defund abortion groups of Medicaid dollars. That waver has not yet been granted, but McMaster previously said he will not back down.
Earlier this year, state lawmakers also approved a budget amendment to prohibit state tax dollars from going to abortion providers.
The governor previously described Planned Parenthood as a “blemish on the great character of the people of South Carolina and this country.”
In 2017, he directed state agencies to stop giving funds to or contracting with groups that provide abortions. A state report with details about funding between 2011 and 2017 found that Planned Parenthood received at least $312,000 from the state Department of Health and Human Services and the South Carolina Public Employment Benefit Authority.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion business in America. Its most recent annual report lists 332,757 abortions and a record $1.66 billion in revenue. In January, its CEO openly stated that abortion is Planned Parenthood’s “core mission.”