The Corner

Politics & Policy

Planned Parenthood Improperly Claimed $80 Million in Coronavirus-Relief Loans

Activists with Planned Parenthood and the Center for American Progress protest in Washington, D.C., June 28, 2017. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Yesterday, I wrote a piece for the homepage about how House Democrats are fighting to extend small-business loans to Planned Parenthood in the upcoming round of coronavirus-relief spending. It turns out they needn’t bother, because the abortion corporation has already availed itself of those resources, despite language barring them from applying for the funds.

In earlier iterations of the stimulus legislation, Republicans quashed Democratic efforts to extend funding to Planned Parenthood, inserting language into the bill that prohibits nonprofit groups organized as affiliates — a category that includes Planned Parenthood’s business model — from receiving forgivable small-business loans.

But that didn’t stop Planned Parenthood from claiming those small-business loans anyway. According to new reporting, 37 Planned Parenthood affiliates applied for and received a total of $80 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, which was established by the CARES Act to aid small businesses during the economic fallout related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, tried to defraud taxpayers during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression,” Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) said in a statement after the news broke. “The Paycheck Protection Program is supposed to be a lifeline for small businesses, not a slush fund for Big Abortion. The administration needs to reclaim that money and fire the bureaucrats who signed off on this scam.”

My piece yesterday explains a little more about why Planned Parenthood in no way qualifies as a small business:

According to its most recent financial report, Planned Parenthood had total net assets close to $2 billion and total revenue of about $1.7 billion last fiscal year. More than one-third of that revenue came from government reimbursements and grants, well over half a billion dollars.

Meanwhile, there is little evidence that the pandemic has created any financial problem for Planned Parenthood or prevented its affiliates from conducting their abortion business as usual. In several states, “reproductive health care” was explicitly classified as an essential service, and Planned Parenthood clinics were permitted to remain open and fully functional. In states that classified abortion as nonessential, Planned Parenthood joined other abortion-advocacy groups in swiftly suing to block those rules — and in most states, they won.

Despite routinely classifying itself as a health-care provider, Planned Parenthood has failed to offer any actual health care during the pandemic and has in fact merely ramped up its provision of abortion. In Pennsylvania, for instance, the organization shuttered all its health centers but kept open all its clinics that perform abortions. The president of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, the group’s Colorado affiliate, said that its abortion numbers “have been pretty extraordinary” during the pandemic and cited an increase in women traveling from out of state for an abortion.

As stay-at-home orders went into effect across the country, the websites of local Planned Parenthood affiliates began to display messages emphasizing that they would not offer any kind of COVID-19 care, but patients could continue to show up for “essential services” such as abortion.

The Small Business Administration, which administers the Paycheck Protection Program, is supposedly in the process of contacting each Planned Parenthood affiliate to inform them that the aid isn’t for them and trying to get it back. I wish them the best of luck.

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