Supreme Court denies S.C. effort to block Medicaid from paying for care at Planned Parenthood

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Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 8:21 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON D.C. (WIS) - The Supreme Court declined to take up an appeal of a lower court’s decision that allows Medicaid recipients to get health care at Planned Parenthood in South Carolina.

This battle has been going on for years, spearheaded by Gov. Henry McMaster, who said he would fight to make sure no taxpayer money would go to fund abortions in the state.

“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 performing abortions,” McMaster said in a July 2017 statement. “Taxpayer dollars must not directly or indirectly subsidize abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.”

McMaster issued an executive order in 2017 mandating that abortion clinics not receive any state or federal funds.

In 2018, he issued another executive order specifically targeting Medicaid funding that goes to family planning services, saying those funds could not be used at clinics that offer abortions. It effectively meant Medicaid recipients could not seek care at Planned Parenthood.

A Planned Parenthood patient sued the state over the matter.

That lawsuit worked its way up to the Supreme Court.

Since the court declined to hear the case Tuesday, the matter is final -- Medicaid can be used at Planned Parenthood in South Carolina.

It’s worth noting, Medicaid already will not cover a woman’s abortion except when the woman’s life is at risk, or in cases rape or incest, due to the Hyde Amendment.

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