From Ann Warner, CEO, Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network:
In a state where many families are living in poverty, are still uninsured and struggling to access healthcare, we should be eliminating barriers to healthcare, not creating more through divisive, politically motivated attacks on agencies and centers providing critical services.
Governor McMaster’s executive order cutting off all public funding to abortion clinics in South Carolina is callous and short sighted to the health and well-being of our state.
This is an attack on the ability of low-income women and families to be able to get the care they need.
These clinics provide a wide range of services like annual exams, birth control, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and lifesaving cancer screenings that help low-income people to manage their health, and plan their families. If this executive order stands, these are the basic health services that could be defunded.
Longstanding federal law already prohibits Medicaid money from being used to pay for abortions, with exceptions for cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger. The majority of Medicaid dollars used in our state go toward family planning services like prescribing birth control.
The governor is putting a political agenda ahead of the health and dignity of families in our state. We cannot sit quietly and allow this to happen. We need to speak out. We need to look beyond political debates and remember that real people in our communities are going to get hurt if this executive order is allowed to stand.