Planned Parenthood PPP Loans Sparks Pro-Life Censorship | Baptist-life

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WASHINGTON (BP) – A report that affiliates of the country’s largest abortion provider received $ 80 million in loans to help small businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic drew strong disapproval from the share of life advocates inside and outside Congress.

Thirty-seven affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) have applied for and received the federal money despite being ineligible for the paycheck protection program requirements, according to an exclusive Fox News report on Tuesday.

The Paycheck Protection Program, which is administered by the US Small Business Administration, was designed to help retain employees in small businesses – including churches and nonprofits – that are at risk of shutting down and / or to fire workers because of the government. restrictions in response to the pandemic. The Small Business Administration is demanding repayment of loans made to PPFA affiliates, Fox News reported.

According to its 2019 annual report, Planned Parenthood performed more than 345,000 abortions and received $ 616.8 million in government grants and reimbursements.

“At a time when we are all concerned with protecting lives and livelihoods, it is maddening to see, once again, that nothing – not even a global pandemic – will stop Planned Parenthood from pursuing death.” Southern Baptist pro-life leader Russell Moore said in written comments on Wednesday.

The federal government is “rightly asking” for repayment of the loans, said Moore, chairman of the Commission on Ethics and Religious Freedom (ERLC). “We need to stay focused on fighting this virus and saving lives. Planned Parenthood’s actions show he doesn’t care about the first because he never cared about the second. “

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a speech on May 20:

“Failure to respect human life is [Planned Parenthood’s] central mission, and they just took advantage of a national crisis and used tens of millions of taxpayer dollars that they were clearly, clearly prohibited from taking. It goes without saying that the money must be returned immediately, right away. “

Contacted by Baptist Press, the Small Business Administration press office said in a written statement: “We do not comment on individual borrowers.”

Affiliates of organizations with more than 500 employees, including those working for affiliates, are not eligible for Paycheck Protection Program loans. Loan applicants should verify the number of “full-time equivalent employees,” according to the SBA, which also states on its website, “knowingly making a false statement to obtain a loan under this program is punishable by law. “.

Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, said in a written statement that the SBA “should open an investigation into how these loans were made in gross violation of the applicable membership rules and if provided Parenthood, banks or SBA staff have knowingly violated the law, all appropriate legal options should be sought. “

Senator James Lankford, R-Okla., A Southern Baptist, asked Planned Parenthood to return the money, saying, “Every dollar that Planned Parenthood took out of the Paycheck Protection Program was a dollar that didn’t. failed to reach eligible legitimate small businesses. “

At the time of publication, PPFA had not responded to a request for comment from Baptist Press.

On March 24, Moore and more than 50 other pro-life leaders urged public health officials to act to prevent the promotion of abortion during the coronavirus crisis.

In a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, they said Planned Parenthood and other organizations promote and perform abortions while other elective procedures are delayed. By stopping abortions, Planned Parenthood would make medical equipment available with limited supply as the coronavirus spreads in this country, protect women who may need care from an overburdened health system after post complications. -abortion and would reduce the burden on emergency rooms, according to the letter.

Tom Strode is the Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press.

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