Asserting that “abortion clinics’ primary focus on denying the right to life is contrary to and conflicts with the state’s obligation to protect and preserve that right,” McMaster’s order subsequently deemed them “unqualified to provide family planning services.”
District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis eventually blocked McMaster’s order from taking effect, writing that Planned Parenthood South Atlantic was “professionally competent and is capable of performing family planning services for Medicaid patients” and that federal law “does not permit a State to pass a law deeming a provider unqualified for reasons unrelated to professional competence to perform the services at issue.”
Helene Krasnoff, vice president of public policy litigation and law at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, cheered the organization’s victory on Tuesday but warned of potential decisions in the opposite direction should Barrett be confirmed.
“Today’s Supreme Court order leaves in place a ruling that makes clear what we have long said: blocking people with low incomes from choosing the provider they know and trust is unlawful,” Krasnoff said. “The fact that the court will not hear this case does not alter the frightening reality of what could come if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the high court.”
Jeff Leieritz, a spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, said McMaster’s administration was “disappointed” by the high court’s decision to not take up the case.
CNN’s Ariane De Vogue contributed to this report.