Republican lawmakers, led by Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, are demanding answers from the federal government about the actions of Planned Parenthood as they operate using funds that were improperly obtained through the CARES act.
Last month, Planned Parenthood appeared on the list of federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) recipients. The PPP was set up as part of the CARES Act to provide small businesses who were affected by the economic shutdown because of the pandemic with economic relief.
At least 43 affiliates of Planned Parenthood throughout the nation received funds from the PPP and CARES Act legislation to the tune of somewhere between $65.8 million and $135 million. Although the PPP has already informed the affiliates that they must return the funds because they were not eligible, a group of 29 Republican senators is asking how they were able to receive the money in the first place.
A letter addressed to the Treasury’s Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery, Brian Miller, said that Planned Parenthood’s own statements suggest that the organization knew they were not eligible for PPP loans but applied anyway. The senators are asking how they were granted the loans despite their ineligibility and whether any of the affiliates knowingly gave false information in the application process.
Loeffler wrote on Twitter that she was proud to be leading the call for this investigation and said that Planned Parenthood must be held accountable for their actions.
Speaking to the Epoch Times, Representative Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) said that the PPP program was set up to help businesses that have 500 employees or fewer. Planned Parenthood employs 16,000 people and has $2 billion in assets. “This loan was not meant for them,” he stated.
He added that he believes their actions were fraudulent and that they should be prosecuted. He said that while some companies who took the money but were found to be ineligible have since returned it, many Planned Parenthood affiliates had yet to do so.
He has proposed an extension of the Hyde Amendment called the Abortion Provider Loan Elimination Act, which would ban federal funding for groups that kill unborn babies as a medical procedure. His proposal has 23 co-sponsors, all of whom are Republicans.
A second letter from 28 Republicans was addressed to Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Chris Wray asking for updates on federal investigations into Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby parts.
In 2015, videos were released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) showing key figures in the abortion industry discussing their fetal organ harvesting practices on video. They contained an explicit description of how the face of an aborted baby whose heart was still beating was brutally cut open so they could harvest his brain.
Their discussion indicated that they carried out several federal crimes that are related to altering abortion procedures for reasons not related to the mother’s health and profiting from human tissue trafficking.
Their letter said in part: “We urge you to investigate not only the extent to which Planned Parenthood was involved in the sale of fetal tissue, but also the disturbing descriptions by Planned Parenthood workers of infants born alive who were left to die or killed through organ harvesting.”
In June, the CMP released footage taken from the sworn testimony of the officials involved in the original investigation in which they admitted they knew the babies had been born alive and implied they were killed soon afterward.
Last year, 67 Congress members wrote a similar request to Barr and Wray asking for an update and an explanation of why no action had been taken.
It remains to be seen just how far these lawmakers will get in their search for answers, but it is absolutely clear that Planned Parenthood needs to be held accountable for acquiring federal funds improperly and using them to support their horrific practices when the money should have gone to more honest small businesses that were struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
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