The COVID-19 pandemic led to a loss of life, loss of livelihood, loss of education, and loss of social interaction; but it wasn’t a loss for everyone. Among those who capitalized off the crisis were some American business owners who allegedly defrauded their government of more than $8 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) pandemic relief funds according to a recent statement by the U.S. Department of Justice. Some recipients used the funding to allegedly purchase everything from Lamborghinis to homes. One person is even reported to have used loan funds to take out a hit on a young mother and her child.
And speaking of hits on children, serial fraudster Planned Parenthood has managed to escape the latest round of media scrutiny on the PPP misappropriation despite collecting more than $80 million from the program.
As the Small Business Administration (SBA) itself noted to the Washington Post, the “local chapters are too closely affiliated with Planned Parenthood’s national organization to be considered independent entities,” making them ineligible to draw loans from the PPP. According to a January 2021 letter to the SBA signed by more than 30 U.S. Senators, PPP loan applicants “had to employ no more than 500 employees across all of their affiliates” to be eligible for the initial round of funding. Planned Parenthood has about 16,000 employees across its affiliates.
And Planned Parenthood can’t claim ignorance of the rule, because the organization issued a statement decrying its exclusion from the federal legislation authorizing PPP funding at the time. “The bill gives the Small Business Administration broad discretion to exclude Planned Parenthood affiliates,” said the statement. Despite admitting it was ineligible, the abortion giant’s affiliates applied for and raked in millions in PPP funds in the months that followed.
Senator Rand Paul, while questioning SBA administrator Isabel Guzman in May 2021, noted that the SBA’s decades-old affiliate rule was created “to protect small businesses, so small business programs were supposed to go to small businesses, not big businesses.” Sen. Paul noted, “The previous [Trump] Administration determined that they’re [Planned Parenthood] a big business, and yet you continue to give them money, and you won’t tell us how much you’re giving.”
Ms. Guzman, President Biden’s appointee, refused to verbalize to Senator Paul any intention on her part, as SBA administrator, to ensure that Planned Parenthood would be held accountable or even that the organization would stop receiving continued funding from her administration.
Many have noted that Planned Parenthood did not “need” COVID-19 relief funds.
Abortion was largely exempted from pauses on “elective” medical procedures, allowing Planned Parenthood to continue business as usual while actual health care providers languished. Not only did they not close their doors in the same way that other businesses were forced to, Planned Parenthood repeatedly went to court asking judges to exempt them — and they won. Planned Parenthood took states like Oklahoma and Texas went to court to keep the abortion money coming and their doors open.
And the nation’s number one abortion vendor leveraged the COVID-19 crisis to win a huge battle at the FDA — reducing common-sense health and safety standards on Chemical Abortion Pills allowing them to distribute on-line, exposing women to injury, infertility, and even death.
Despite the organization’s unending stream of scandals, donors continue to open their wallets. In March, MacKenzie Scott (ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos) forked over a whopping $275 million donation to Planned Parenthood. One commentator noted while reporting on that donation that “Planned Parenthood’s abortions alone would represent the third-leading cause of death” in the United States.
Family Research Council reports in “America’s Direct Deposit to Planned Parenthood” that current analysis shows American taxpayers have been very generous, whether they like it or not. In fact, “annual taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood has nearly quadrupled, from $163.1 million in 1994 to $618.1 million in 2019.” That figure could be higher today, as many await Planned Parenthood’s annual report – post-COVID – to see how the nation’s number one abortion vendor prospered while many businesses struggled. Is it possible Corporate Abortion doesn’t want struggling taxpayers to know how much they have taken into their coffers?
Cutting off taxpayer funding streams to Planned Parenthood feels like a game of whack-a-mole, but lawmakers continue trying. Most recently, Senator Marco Rubio led an effort to restore a Trump-era rule withholding federal Title X funding from Planned Parenthood and other abortion vendors.
Putting profits over people may be the name of Planned Parenthood’s game, but at a moment when Americans are struggling to out-earn inflationary spikes at the gas pump and grocery store and are unsure of their own financial futures, the U.S. government’s brazen prioritization of a giant, corrupt corporation over hardworking taxpayers is a slap in the face.
• Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America & Students for Life Action, with more than 1,300 groups on middle and high school, college and university, medical and law school campuses in all 50 states. Follow her @KristanHawkins or subscribe to her podcast, Explicitly Pro-Life.