No fewer than thirty-seven Planned Parenthood affiliates applied for an received a total of $80 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) meant to help small businesses under the CARES Act coronavirus stimulus bill, Fox News reported on Tuesday. The Small Business Administration (SBA), which manages the program, is asking for the money back. Senators and pro-life organizations have expressed outrage that America’s largest abortion provider has seized this coronavirus relief.
“It is appalling that Planned Parenthood applied for and received $80 million of taxpayer funds meant for legitimate businesses suffering from the economic effects of the current pandemic,” Tom McClusky, president of March for Life Action, told PJ Media in a statement Wednesday. “The abortion giant is a multi-billion dollar industry that received over $1.5 BILLION in taxpayer funds over the last three years, reporting a gross profit of almost $245 million this past year alone.”
“This is hardly an industry that needs bailing out,” McClusky added. “Planned Parenthood’s self-serving actions prove that in this time of the COVID-19 crisis, they are concerned only with their own profit, garnered through preying on women and their unborn children and adding to the death toll of this pandemic. The Small Business Administration must fully investigate this case, and policymakers should ensure that all future taxpayer-funded relief legislation follow in the footsteps of the CARES Act to exclude the abortion industry.”
SBA is reaching out to each Planned Parenthood affiliate explaining that affiliates of larger organizations with more than 500 employees are ineligible for PPP loans, Fox News reported. The administration warned that if the funds were not repaid, affiliates could face “severe penalties” such as criminal or civil sanctions. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PFFA) has more than 600 employees.
In at least one case, a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Washington will have to return a loan of more than $1.3 million. Ironically, that affiliate’s president and CEO, Laura Meyers, promised to turn down federal funds last August. She had complained about a White House rule preventing clinics from making abortion referrals if they wanted to continue receiving federal funds. “Planned Parenthood is never going to allow the Trump-Pence administration to bully us into withholding critical health information from our patients,” she said at the time.
The largest PPP loan to a Planned Parenthood affiliate totaled $7.5 million. By contrast, 98 percent of PPP loans have been less than $1 million and the program has awarded an average loan of $118,000.
Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.) demanded Planned Parenthood return the funds.
“There is no ambiguity in the legislation that passed or public record around its passage that organizations such as Planned Parenthood, whose parent organization has close to half a billion dollars in assets, is not eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program,” Rubio said in a statement. “Those funds must be returned immediately. Furthermore, the SBA should open an investigation into how these loans were made in clear violation of the applicable affiliation rules and if Planned Parenthood, the banks, or staff at the SBA knowingly violated the law all appropriate legal options should be pursued.”
“Every dollar Planned Parenthood took from PPP was a dollar that did not get to legitimate small businesses,” Lankford tweeted.
Every dollar Planned Parenthood took from PPP was a dollar that did not get to legitimate small businesses.
— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) May 20, 2020
Other pro-life voices noted that many abortion clinics also refused orders to temporarily halt elective surgeries during the coronavirus pandemic, using up personal protective equipment (PPE) required to fight coronavirus.
“Across the country, Planned Parenthood refused to cease its abortion operation in the wake of the pandemic, hoarding personal protective equipment and putting its staff and women at risk. It is rich that they, in turn, feel entitled to taxpayer dollars meant to help businesses in need,” a spokesperson at the pro-life nonprofit Susan B. Anthony List said in a statement.
“After decades of feeding at the taxpayer’s trough while running the nation’s largest abortion operation, they have nearly two billion dollars in net assets. They should return this funding immediately. We thank President Trump for his strong commitment to stop taxpayer funding of abortion and abortionists like Planned Parenthood,” the spokesperson concluded.
Meanwhile, senior White House officials told The Daily Caller in March that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tried to include direct federal funding for abortion in the CARES Act by devoting $1 billion to “reimburse laboratory claims.”
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.
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