Gov. Haley Calls for Investigation of S.C. Planned Parenthood Offices

COLUMBIA, S.C. (August 19, 2015) Governor Nikki Haley has requested a “prompt and comprehensive investigation” of the policies and practices of Planned Parenthood in South Carolina as well as other abortion businesses operating in the state.

Her request was issued on the eve of the release of the seventh undercover video showing barbaric and savage practices of Planned Parenthood trafficking in the bodies and organs of aborted babies.

In a letter dated August 18, 2015, to Catherine Heigel, Director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Governor Haley writes that she has been “shocked by recent accounts of unethical practices at clinics affiliated with Planned Parenthood.”

The grim undercover films show Planned Parenthood senior managers negotiating the sale of the body parts of aborted babies with specific mention of livers, brains, lungs and other organs and tissues harvested from aborted children, many in 20th week of fetal life.

This morning ( Wednesday, August 19, 2015) The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released another video in a series exposing the baby body part harvesting and trafficking conducted by affiliates of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nation’s largest abortion provider. This is the seventh such video released by CMP uncovering the gruesome nature of Planned Parenthood’s huge abortion business.

“These videos again show horrific scenes in which Planned Parenthood executives cavalierly discuss the harvesting and pricing of baby parts” said Carol Tobias, National Right to Life president. “Planned Parenthood now commands more than one-third of the total abortion ‘market,’ and we fully support investigations into many aspects of this grisly business. Planned Parenthood equals abortion.”

South Carolina Citizens for Life has asked the Governor to use her executive power to stop state tax-payer funding to Planned Parenthood which receives Medicaid reimbursements from the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services. So far five states including Louisiana, New Hampshire, Alabama, Arkansas, and Utah have withdrawn funding from Planned Parenthood.

Governor Haley now joins numerous state lawmakers and South Carolina Citizens for Life in requests for information about the state tax funding of abortion businesses in South Carolina.

In addition to the Governor’s request to DHEC, numerous legislators have asked the Legislative Audit Council, the House Oversight Committee, and the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees all Medicaid contracts, to provide information about tax-funding for abortion providers.

Representative Garry Smith, R-Simpsonville, who has spearheaded inquiries with the Governor’s Office, DHEC, LAC, and HHS, said, “I want to say thank you to Governor Haley for what I consider a very good step in the action taken today.”

The undercover videos of Planned Parenthood, he said, “are highly disturbing, and the practices they expose are very inhuman in nature. I am sure that it is her intention to not rest until we are absolutely assured that these barbaric practices are not being perpetrated on our innocent unborn children in this State.”

Representative Donna C. Hicks, R-Spartanburg, further called for Governor Haley to end state contracts with Planned Parenthood. “I would like to see our Governor cancel the four Medicaid contracts currently funding Planned Parenthood in SC along with any other funding sources discovered through the investigation.”

South Carolina Citizens for Life also has requested an investigative audit of Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid reimbursements, as well as the reimbursements to the Charleston Women’s Medical Center, an abortion facility that partners with the Medical University of South Carolina to train medical students to do abortions. The abortion facility also advertises it accepts Medicaid customers.

The SCCL staff and advisors reviewed four contracts authorized by HHS for Medicaid reimbursements to Planned Parenthood. The review raised troubling questions about the contracts. For example one contract alleged that a Planned Parenthood physician was working in Charleston and in Columbia on the same days and at the same times. Another contract also stated that “covered services” included abortion. State law prohibits funding of abortion except in cases of rape or to save the mother’s life.

South Carolina Citizens for Life also has raised the issue of the refusal of DHEC to release information that identifies hospitals that do abortions. The information had been available until the 2014 report. No explanation was given for the censoring of the information. State law requires that abortions past 24 weeks must be done in a hospital. The information was released to Representative Smith today. (See below)

“We applaud Governor Haley for calling for an investigation into the abortion industry in South Carolina with priority given to Planned Parenthood, ” said Lisa Van Riper, President of South Carolina Citizen for Life. “Our organization always has opposed tax funding of abortion.

“I am encouraged by the in-depth work the South Carolina Citizens for Life staff and advisors have done to raise serious questions about state tax dollars used to fund abortion businesses in our state,” Mrs. Van Riper said. “We are available to work closely with elected officials who strive to protect the public trust, the public’s right to information about how tax dollars are used, and ultimately to protect the most vulnerable members of our human family, the unborn.”

In her letter to DHEC, the Governor notes that, “The issues raised about Planned Parenthood’s standards and practices are further compounded following the findings of a South Carolina Legislative Audit Council (LAC) report issued this Spring. The report found that the frequency and rigor of abortion clinic inspections are lacking and that discrepancies exist between records maintained by the clinic and those on-file” with DHEC. “Accordingly, I am requesting that you engage in a prompt and comprehensive investigation of the policies and practices of abortion clinics in our state, prioritizing those affiliated with or owned by Planned Parenthood, its subsidiaries, and its affiliates.”

DHEC Relents, Identifies
Hospitals Doing Abortions;
MUSC Does the Most

Responding to pressure from South Carolina Citizens for Life, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control today released the 2014 data on hospitals that do abortions.

In a letter to Representative Garry Smith, R-Simpsonville, DHEC Director Catherine Heigel said the information will be available in future reports. Representative Smith made the request for information on behalf of SCCL when the information initially was denied without explanation. DHEC released the total number of abortions done in hospitals, but refused to identify the hospitals.

State law requires that aborting babies who have reached 24 weeks fetal age must be done in hospitals; however, no free-standing DHEC certified abortion facility in South Carolina does abortions past 16 weeks from the last menstrual period.

Planned Parenthood advertises abortions up to 13 weeks, six days. The Greenville Women’s Clinic advertises abortions up to 14 week. The Charleston Women’s Medical Center advertises abortions up to 16 weeks from the first day of the last menstrual period. The Charleston facility is affiliated with the Medical University of South Carolina which trains its future abortionist there.

According to the statistics released today, there were 74 abortions done in hospitals. The Medical University of South Carolina as usual leads the body count with 58 abortions. Greenville Memorial reported 11 abortion, and Spartanburg Regional Medical Center reported doing five abortions.