A staunch advocate for reproductive rights, Planned Parenthood provides medical examinations, cancer screenings, prenatal services and other methods of healthcare in South Carolina.
During his campaign to replace former Gov. Nikki Haley, McMaster has pledged to strip the organization of state money.
“Taxpayer dollars must not directly or indirectly subsidize abortion providers like Planned Parenthood,” McMaster said Friday. “There are a variety of agencies, clinics and medical entities in South Carolina that receive taxpayer funding [which] offer important women’s health and family-planning services without performing abortions.”
McMaster won a Republican gubernatorial primary election in June, largely on a pledge to end support for Planned Parenthood. He announced cuts of $35.8 million to the state’s $8 billion budget, including $2.2 million in state Medicare funds for family planning, which will end $13 million in accompanying federal funds.
None of the state or federal funding to Planned Parenthood is directed to abortions. That practice is banned by federal law, but McMaster’s veto implies public funds pay for abortion procedures, the Charleston Post and Courier reported.
“I have stated many times that I am opposed to what Planned Parenthood is doing,” McMaster said, “The veto that I have is the most direct way to get to the money that is going to them for family planning services, which in ‘Planned Parenthood land’ means abortions.”
It is unknown if state legislators will overturn McMaster’s veto. They will meet in September to elect members to a state regulatory board.
The defunding of Planned Parenthood and the loss of Medicaid reimbursements begins immediately. State officials did not announce how many Medicaid patients could be affected.