SC gov to Medicaid: Cover medical care, not abortion clinics

South Carolina News
South Carolina Budget McMaster

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announces he is vetoing $16 million from the state budget because part of the money goes to Planned Parenthood at a news conference Friday, July 6, 2018, in Columbia, S.C. McMaster made a campaign promise no taxpayer money would go to any group that performs abortions. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered the state’s Medicaid agency to continue covering “necessary medical care and important women’s health and family planning services.”

Media outlets report McMaster also late last week ordered the state Department of Health and Human Services “to terminate abortion clinics as Medicaid providers.”

The move comes after the Republican vetoed $16 million in family planning funds from the state budget.

Hundreds of thousands of low-income South Carolinians qualify for family planning benefits like pelvic exams through the state Medicaid agency. Federal laws mandate Medicaid patients may seek family planning services at health care clinics of their own choosing.

Spokesman Brian Symmes says McMaster intended to impact as few of them as possible in his bid to stop government money from flowing to Planned Parenthood.

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