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Politics & Policy

New SBA Emails Suggest Officials Hid Information about Planned Parenthood’s Loan Fraud

(Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

According to new reporting from the Daily Caller, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has been sitting on emails exchanged with Planned Parenthood officials about COVID-relief loans that the abortion provider illegally obtained last spring.

The emails were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request and were heavily redacted, but one inadvertently revealed the name of Jennifer Meyer, finance director for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and the subject line “PPP funds in new account.”

Though a spokesperson told the Daily Caller that the SBA cannot release information of loan applicants who “did not ultimately receive a loan,” Planned Parenthood of Northern New England ultimately did receive a loan of nearly $3 million last April.

And that affiliate was just one of dozens of Planned Parenthood affiliates reported to have received a total of about $80 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The loans were established by Congress in the CARES Act last spring to help small businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic and associated shutdowns.

After a battle over whether large nonprofits with an affiliate structure would qualify for a PPP loan, Congress explicitly barred such nonprofits from the program, requiring that small businesses have no more than 500 employees in order to be eligible. Planned Parenthood, with about 16,000 employees spread over several dozen affiliates, was therefore ineligible.

In fact, despite claiming that it was eligible for the loans after the fraud came to light, Planned Parenthood’s national organization had publicly acknowledged its lack of eligibility for the small-business relief back in March 2020. On its site, the group explicitly attacked the CARES Act on the grounds that it barred the abortion group from applying to the loan program.

But the group’s affiliates applied anyway and appear to have illegally claimed millions of dollars in funding that was intended for suffering small businesses, not major nonprofits that already rake in hundreds of millions in federal funding each year.

In response to repeated Republican calls for an investigation into this apparent loan fraud, the Small Business Administration has said nothing publicly on the subject and, as far as we know, offered no assistance to lawmakers in investigating the matter further. These newly released emails indicate that the officials administrating the PPP loans are well aware that at least some Planned Parenthood affiliates were given loans despite their ineligibility — and the SBA ought to have known better.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated since its original publication to correct the number of employees Planned Parenthood has.

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