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South Carolina Restricts Abortion By Going After The Doctors Who Perform Them

Last week, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed an executive order thatstops South Carolina from giving state or local money to any doctor or group associated with providing abortions.

In a statement from Governor McMaster’s office, it explained further that the order stopped state agencies from providing money, “whether via grant, contract, state-administered federal funds, or any other form, to any physician or professional medical practice affiliated with an abortion clinic and operating concurrently with — and in the same physical, geographic location or footprint as – an abortion clinic.”

As the Los Angeles Times pointed out, this order directly goes after Planned Parenthood, something McMaster was not shy about saying in a statement.

“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. “Taxpayer dollars must not directly or indirectly subsidize abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.”

In order to “help facilitate appropriate and informed access to women’s health and family planning services,” McMaster has asked the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate with the Department of Health and Environmental Control to release “a listing of all qualified non-abortion women’s health and family planning providers operating within a twenty-five mile radius of any abortion clinic excluded from the state’s Medicaid provider network.”

This is not the first time South Carolina has passed legislation to restrict abortion. Last year, South Carolina passed a law in which doctors were banned from performing abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy with no exemptions for cases of rape or incest. It also allows for an abortion after the 20th week if the fetus has a fatal defect in the womb. South Carolina is one of at least 16 states that have implicated this law, according to the L.A. Times.

Now, McMaster’s latest order follows in the footsteps of President Donald Trump, who signed an executive order in April that allows states to deny some federal funding to Planned Parenthood and other groups that perform abortions. However, it’s already illegal for Planned Parenthood to use federal money for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger.

In response to the South Carolina’s signing, Planned Parenthood tweeted, “4,000 SC residents rely on PP for birth control, cancer screenings & other preventive care each year. They will hold you accountable. Shame.”

Most of these restrictive laws are passed under the notion that they are helpful to women, but a recently updated report from the Center for Reproductive Rights and Ibis Reproductive Health found that in states where abortion already has restrictions, the health of women and children suffers.

The report found that “the states with the highest number of restrictions included in the research — including Texas (11 restrictions), Louisiana (13 restrictions), and Arkansas (13 restrictions) — have dramatically fewer policies that would truly address the challenges women and their families face.” Earlier this month, Texas passed a law that requires women to purchase extra insurance to cover non-emergency abortions.

A rare piece of good news on the pro-choice front is that earlier this month Oregon signed a new law that aims to expand insurance coverage on abortion proceduresand other reproductive health services to residents of Oregon regardless of their income, gender identity, or even citizenship status.

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