Duncan, Graham, Scott, & Norman Lead Court Brief in Support of Defunding Planned Parenthood in South Carolina

April 29, 2020
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Duncan, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Tim Scott, and Congressman Ralph Norman, along with 133 other Members of Congress, filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of states’ authority to choose Medicaid providers and defund Planned Parenthood.

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Duncan, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Tim Scott, and Congressman Ralph Norman, along with 133 other Members of Congress, filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of states’ authority to choose Medicaid providers and defund Planned Parenthood.

“States have the right to deem their own Medicaid providers, and I stand with Governor McMaster’s lawful decision to ensure public funds don’t go to organizations that perform abortions, like Planned Parenthood,” said Congressman Jeff Duncan. “This is a battle on two fronts – a fight for the unborn and the conscience of taxpayers, and a fight for states’ authority to decide which providers qualify for funds. I’m hopeful the Supreme Court will hear this consequential case.”

“This is an important step in the fight to protect the unborn and the rights of states to consider who is qualified to be a Medicaid provider,” said Senator Lindsey Graham. “I really appreciate Congressman Duncan’s leadership in the House on empowering states to control Medicaid funds and will continue to work with Senator Scott on this important issue in the Senate.”

“The intent of Congress has been to give states flexibility in deciding who is qualified to provide Medicaid services. The people of South Carolina do not want their taxpayer dollars going to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, and that should be respected,” said Senator Tim Scott. “Governor McMaster was well within his right to make this order, and I applaud his decision.”

“While it’s illegal to use Medicaid dollars to end a child’s life through abortion, the fact remains that a percentage of every Medicaid reimbursement for an approved service obviously goes towards the provider’s overhead,” said Congressman Ralph Norman. “This is not difficult to understand. For Planned Parenthood, that means Medicaid reimbursements for approved services would, in part, support the same overhead and broader operational costs that makes their life-ending abortion ‘services’ possible.  For this reason, I hope the U.S. Supreme Court will hear this case, and believe that Governor McMaster was well within his rights to strip Planned Parenthood from the list of approved Medicaid providers in South Carolina.” 

Read the brief HERE.


Under the Medicaid Act, Congress preserved states’ authority to decide which providers are qualified to provide services while giving the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) the authority to enforce the Act’s requirements. Private parties have no right to undermine congressional intent by forcing states to deem them to be qualified providers. Yet, that’s exactly what Planned Parenthood is attempting to do in South Carolina.

Governor Henry McMaster, acting appropriately under state and federal law, ordered the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) to deem abortion clinics unqualified to receive Medicaid funding, allowing funds to go to other clinics with wider ranges of available services. 

Planned Parenthood and an individual sued claiming standing under the Medicaid Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a district court injunction against the Governor’s decision, running counter to decisions in other circuits. 

The amicus brief supports South Carolina’s right to determine their own Medicaid providers. Further, it supports congressional authority to write an act that doesn’t include a private right of action on the part of providers that believe they should have access to public funds.

Supporting Groups: National Right to Life, Alliance Defending Freedom, March for Life Action, Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council, and South Carolina Citizens for Life.

137 total Congressional signers, including 29 Senators and 108 Representatives:

U.S. Senate

Lindsey Graham (SC), Tim Scott (SC), John Barrasso, M.D. (WY), Marsha Blackburn (TN), John Boozman (AR), Mike Braun (IN), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (LA), Tom Cotton (AR), Kevin Cramer (ND), Michael D. Crapo (ID), Ted Cruz (TX), Steve Daines (MT), Michael B. Enzi (WY), Joni Ernst (IA), Charles E. Grassley (IA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS), James M. Inhofe (OK), John N. Kennedy (LA), James Lankford (OK), Kelly Loeffler (GA), Jerry Moran (KS), James E. Risch (ID), Pat Roberts (KS), M. Michael Rounds (SD), Ben Sasse (NE), Rick Scott (FL), John Thune (SD), Thom Tillis (NC), Roger F. Wicker (MS)

U.S. House of Representatives

Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Tom Rice (SC-07), William Timmons (SC-04), Joe Wilson (SC-02), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (LA-01), Ralph Abraham, M.D. (LA-05), Robert Aderholt (AL-04), Rick W. Allen (GA-12), Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL), Jodey C. Arrington (TX-19), Brian Babin, D.D.S. (TX-36), Jim Banks (IN-03), Andy Barr (KY-06), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Dan Bishop (NC-09), Rob Bishop (UT-01), Mike Bost (IL-12), Kevin Brady (TX-08), Mo Brooks (AL-05), Ted Budd (NC-13), Tim Burchett (TN-02), Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26), Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (GA-01), Steve Chabot (OH-01), Michael Cloud (TX-27), Tom Cole (OK-04), Doug Collins (GA-09), K. Michael Conaway (TX-11), Dan Crenshaw (TX-02), Warren Davidson (OH-08), Neal Dunn, M.D. (FL-02), Tom Emmer (MN-06), Drew Ferguson, IV (GA-03), Bill Flores (TX-17), Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01), Russ Fulcher (ID-01), Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Greg Gianforte (MT-AL), Bob Gibbs (OH-07), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Lance Gooden (TX-05), Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Garret Graves (LA-06), Tom Graves (GA-14), Mark E. Green (TN-07), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Michael Guest (MS-03), Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Andy Harris (MD-01), Vicky Hartzler (MO-04), Kevin Hern (OK-01), Jody B. Hice (GA-10), Dusty Johnson (SD-AL), Mike Johnson (LA-04), Jim Jordan (OH-04), John Joyce, M.D. (PA-13), Fred Keller (PA-12), Mike Kelly (PA-03), Steve King (IA-04), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Darin LaHood (IL-18), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Robert E. Latta (OH-05), Debbie Lesko (AZ-08), Billy Long (MO-07), Kenny Marchant (TX-24), Roger Marshall, M.D. (KS-01), Thomas Massie (KY-04), Cathy McMorris Rogers (WA-05), Carol Miller (WV-03), Paul Mitchell (MI-10), John Moolenaar (MI-04), Alex Mooney (WV-02), Gregory F. Murphy, M.D. (NC-03), Pete Olson (TX-22), Steven M. Palazzo (MS-04), Greg Pence (IN-06), Scott Perry (PA-10), Bill Posey (FL-08), Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-01), Hal Rogers (KY-05), David Rouzer (NC-07), John H. Rutherford (FL-04), Austin Scott (GA-08), John Shimkus (IL-15), Adrian Smith (NE-03), Christopher H. Smith (NJ-04), Jason Smith (MO-08), Ross Spano (FL-15), Pete Stauber (MN-08), W. Gregory Steube (FL-17), Chris Stewart (UT-02), Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA-15), Tim Walberg (MI-07), Jackie Walorski (IN-02), Michael Waltz (FL-06), Steve Watkins (KS-02), Randy K. Weber, Sr. (TX-14), Daniel Webster (FL-11), Bruce Westerman (AR-04), Roger Williams (TX-25), Rob Woodall (GA-07), Ron Wright (TX-06), Ted Yoho, D.V.M. (FL-03)