Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant said Monday he will seek to block passage of the 2018-19 state budget next year if it includes any money for Planned Parenthood or other abortion providers.
Bryant, a Republican from Anderson, said he won’t interfere with the 2017-18 budget that state lawmakers are expected to approve Tuesday. The $27 billion spending plan, which includes $8.6 million in state revenues, will go into effect July 1.
After the budget is approved Tuesday, Bryant intends to hold a Statehouse news conference in which he will announce that he won’t ratify the 2018-19 budget unless it eliminates funding for abortion providers.
Bills approved by legislators, including the budget, cannot become law unless they are ratified by the speaker of the state House of Representatives and the lieutenant governor, who serves as the state Senate’s presiding officer.
Bryant said Planned Parenthood receives money from the state for services that are not related to abortions performed at its clinics in Columbia and Charleston.
“I don’t want Planned Parenthood or any other abortion providers to get paid for providing Vitamin C or anything else,” Bryant said. He also said that the state can find other providers for women’s health services besides Planned Parenthood.
According to Bryant, President Donald Trump recently signed a measure approved by Congress that will make it easier for South Carolina and other states to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood.
Powdersville businessman Richard Cash, who will be sworn in as Anderson County’s newest state senator on Tuesday, said he agrees with Bryant’s proposal.
“I don’t think Planned Parenthood should get a dollar of state money — not even a dime,” said Cash, a Republican who will be filling the Senate seat that Bryant gave up when he became lieutenant governor in January.
A spokesman for the Senate Finance Committee said details about the money in the state budget that goes to Planned Parenthood will be available after Bryant’s news conference on Tuesday.
A phone call to Planned Parenthood’s media office was not immediately returned Monday evening.