Governor’s order says SC funds won’t go to abortion providers

FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2016 file photo, pro-abortion rights signs are seen during the March for Life 2016, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court will not allow North Dakota to enforce a law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The justices on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, turned away the state’s appeal of lower court rulings that struck down the 2013 fetal heartbeat law as unconstitutional. The law never took effect and abortion rights supporters said it was the strictest anti-abortion measure in the country. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) – One of President Donald Trump’s earliest backers is taking advantage of a law signed by the president to further restrict funding to abortion providers.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster’s office says Friday the Republican has signed an executive order directing agencies not to allocate state and federal funds to health care providers affiliated with abortion clinics.

McMaster also has directed the state’s Medicaid agency to seek federal permission to exclude abortion clinics from its Medicaid provider network.

In April, Trump signed a law letting states deny certain federal funding to abortion providers including Planned Parenthood. That measure nullified an Obama-era rule that explicitly stopped states from denying federal Title X family planning funds to clinics that also provide abortion services.

McMaster was the first statewide elected official to back Trump. The governor’s complete order can be read here.