ACLJ Preparing To File Amicus Brief Urging Supreme Court To Hear South Carolina Case To Defund Planned Parenthood and Other Abortionists From Medicaid


Laura Hernandez

April 6, 2022

2 min read

Pro Life



The ACLJ is preparing to file a friend-of-the-court (amicus) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Kerr v. Edwards. This important case could have a dramatic impact on the ability of states to stop the flow of taxpayer dollars to the nation’s largest abortion provider.

As we explained earlier, this case arose after South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued an Executive order directing the South Carolina Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) to deem abortion clinics unqualified to receive Medicaid funding. Planned Parenthood and an individual plaintiff immediately sued in federal court, challenging the state’s decision. The district court issued a preliminary injunction against the Executive order and as we reported, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.

South Carolina sought review in the Supreme Court. We told you at the time that we supported their petition in an amicus brief, urging the high Court to grant review. Perhaps because of the preliminary posture of the case, the Supreme Court denied review. The case went back to the district court for a full hearing on the merits.  The district court issued a permanent injunction against the Executive order.  The Fourth Circuit again affirmed.

Now that all issues have been resolved in the lower courts, South Carolina is once again planning to ask the Supreme Court to hear the case.  And once again, the ACLJ will be there to support the state’s petition.

This issue has been before the Supreme Court several times now and it is just a matter of getting enough Justices to vote to hear the case. In 2018, three Justices would have voted to grant review to hear a case presenting the same issues.  Under the Court’s rules, however, four Justices must vote to hear a case. It is likely the same three Justices who voted to hear the case in 2018 will again vote to hear Kerr.  In addition to Kerr, there is currently yet another case presenting similar issues.  The Court is scheduled to decide whether it will hear that case in the coming weeks.

We are hopeful that this term will be the one when at least one more Justice will see the importance of granting review and resolving whether states can defund Planned Parenthood. If the Court grants review, we will, with your continued support, continue the fight against taxpayer subsidization of Planned Parenthood.