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Government tells Planned Parenthood to return $80 million it stole from COVID-19 relief

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According to a Fox News report, $80 million in stimulus funds intended to help small businesses struggling through coronavirus economic hardship have gone instead to Planned Parenthood, the multi-billion dollar abortion business. 

Under the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Congress allocated $349 billion in federal funds to provide assistance to small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. According to the Department of the Treasury, funds may be used to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs including benefits” as well as “interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.” In August 2019, Planned Parenthood rejected Title X federal funding after the Trump administration’s rules required abortion facilities to fiscally and physically separate family planning services from abortion, as Live Action News reported.

Organizations like Planned Parenthood and its affiliates are ineligible to receive the PPP relief funds under affiliation rules established by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to administer the program. As a senior Trump administration official told The Daily Signal, “While each Planned Parenthood affiliate has fewer than 500 employees, nationwide it has over 16,000 employees. So when applying PPP’s affiliation rules neutrally, it’s clear that Planned Parenthood is one large employer and not eligible for PPP money.”

According to Fox News, the SBA will be contacting each Planned Parenthood affiliate that received funds to explain the affiliation rules that make them ineligible for the funds, and will request the money back. The largest recipient of federal funds was Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino counties of California, which received $7.5 million. The Planned Parenthood affiliate of Metropolitan Washington received $1.3 million. 

READ: Abortion destination: New Planned Parenthood opens in Illinois during COVID-19

Many elected officials, like Florida Senator Rick Scott, are calling for the money to be returned immediately. Some, like Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, have called for more serious enforcement actions.

In a statement released Tuesday, Senator Rubio made his position clear: “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.”

“The money needs to be recovered and if anybody knowingly falsified applications, they need to be prosecuted,” Senator Hawley said on Twitter

Pro-abortion members of Congress have made several attempts to include abortion into federal stimulus packages. According to the Daily Caller, pro-life Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse criticized the House-passed HEROES Act for removing PPP protections designed to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving aid: “There’s nothing small about Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest abortion business. Nancy Pelosi shouldn’t try to shovel cash to Big Abortion’s corporate lobbyists while Americans suffer.”

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