The US Supreme Court declined Tuesday to hear South Carolina’s appeal to restrict public funding for Planned Parenthood.
The case stems from a 2018 executive order from South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, in which he declared that abortion clinics should be excluded from serving as a family planning service and that the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services should “pursue all available methods and to take all necessary actions to exclude abortion clinics from receiving taxpayer funds for any purpose, including but not limited to seeking any and all requisite waivers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.”
Following the order, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and one of its patients, Julie Edwards, successfully filed suit against the state. This decision was appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which upheld the ruling in 2019, stating that “based on the Supreme Court’s precedents, Congress’s intent to create an individual right enforceable under § 1983 in the free-choice-of-provider provision is unambiguous. In addition, a plain-language reading of the provision’s mandate—that states “must” furnish Medicaid recipients the right to choose among providers ‘qualified to perform the service or services required’—bars states from excluding providers for reasons unrelated to professional competency.”
The case was then appealed to the Supreme Court, which denied the petition for writ of certiorari without comment.