Planned Parenthood is defending having improperly raked in $80 million in funding under the CARES Act -- money meant to keep small businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic -- calling it a "clear political attack" to question whether they should have gotten the aid.
In its section allocating millions in aid funding to small businesses that were forced to shut their doors and lay off workers during the crisis, the CARES Act stipulated that affiliates of larger organizations with 500 or more employees were not considered “small businesses,” and are therefore not eligible for the small business loans.
Planned Parenthood, which has hundreds of affiliated clinics across the country and already receives more than $500 million in taxpayer funding every year, has thousands of employees, including more than 600 employed by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America alone.
But that didn’t keep 37 Planned Parenthood clinics from applying for – and receiving – more than $80 million in emergency small business loans, despite not being eligible for the money.
Now, the Small Business Administration wants the money back, and has even threatened legal action if they determine the clinics applied for the money knowing they didn’t qualify.
But in a total predictable move, Planned Parenthood claims their clinics did meet the eligibility rules, calling any claim to the contrary “a clear political attack” by the Trump administration to “distract from their own failures.”
“Like many other local nonprofits and health care providers, some independent Planned Parenthood 501(c)(3) organizations applied for and were awarded loans under the eligibility rules established by the CARES Act and the Small Business Administration (SBA), which they met,” said the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s vice president of government relations and public policy, Jacqueline Ayers, in a statement.
“This is a clear political attack on Planned Parenthood health centers and access to reproductive health care,” Ayers also said. “It has nothing to do with Planned Parenthood health care organizations’ eligibility for COVID-19 relief efforts, and everything to do with the Trump administration using a public health crisis to advance a political agenda and distract from their own failures in protecting the American public from the spread of COVID-19.”
Many GOP lawmakers – who have nothing to do with the White House – have demanded that Planned Parenthood return the money and that an investigation be opened into whether they knowingly filed an improper application for funding they knew they shouldn’t get.