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South Carolina Granted Waiver for Faith-Based Foster Placement

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) granted a waiver requested by South Carolina’s governor from an Obama-era anti-discrimination rule that applied to foster care placement agencies.

Specifically, the regulation would have required Miracle Hill Ministries, the largest foster placement agency in the state, to place children in non-Christian homes, contrary to its religious beliefs and in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The waiver is conditioned on the agency referring potential foster parents to another foster placement agency that will place children in non-Christian homes.

Terry Schilling, executive director of American Principles Project, said in a statement, “ We applaud HHS for their effort to protect faith-based foster care providers, and we urge HHS and the Trump administration to continue their efforts to undo this discriminatory regulation in order to preserve the freedom of these providers to continue their important work.”

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South Carolina Governor Boldly Defunds Planned Parenthood

Recently, South Carolina’s governor, Henry McMaster, issued an executive order that blocks taxpayer dollars from going to any health care clinics that perform abortions. “Taxpayer dollars must not directly or indirectly subsidize abortion providers like Planned Parenthood,” said Gov. McMaster.

The order also directs South Carolina’s Health and Human Services Department to request a waiver from the federal government that would allow the department to stop funding abortion through the state’s Medicaid provider network. The governor is also making available a list of all qualified non-abortion women’s health and family planning providers operating within a 25-mile radius of any abortion clinic that is excluded from the state’s Medicaid provider network.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Antony List, praised the Palmetto State’s decision. “We thank Governor McMaster for acting to ensure taxpayers fund comprehensive primary and preventative care for women and families, not abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood. Abortion is not health care,” she said.

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SC House Approves Bill Limiting ‘Dismemberment’ Abortions

Wednesday, the South Carolina House, by a vote of 89-17, approved a bill that would effectively ban “dismemberment” abortions, known medically as a dilation and evacuation procedure. It is the most common procedure undertaken when women receive abortions in the second trimester. The bill now goes to the S.C. Senate for consideration.

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