Trump Blocks Relief Funds for Planned Parenthood: Money is Not for 'Funding Abortion'
President says Paycheck Protection Program is for small businesses
The Trump administration said the Paycheck Protection Program would not include funds for abortion provider Planned Parenthood, stating it is meant for small businesses hurt by the COVID-19 shutdowns.
A senior administration official said:
"President Trump is committed to ensuring Paycheck Protection Program money is used for saving jobs at small businesses, not getting the government into the business of funding abortion."
"While not all Americans share President Trump's pro-life beliefs, there is broad bipartisan support for the idea that American taxpayers should not have to fund abortion," the official added.
The historic $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, and the CARES Act, which passed in March, provided $349 billion for small businesses relief.
The guidelines state that businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible for a forgivable loan if they retained their employees.
Despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats delaying the funding, congress approved an additional $310 billion after the fund ran out of money in mid-April.
Parenthood was excluded by the Small Business Administration due to its size.
"The SB in SBA is for 'small business,'" the official said.
"So SBA has regulations called 'affiliation rules' to define when small employers might be so closely affiliated with a parent organization that they should be considered one large employer."
While Planned Parenthood employs over 16,000 people nationwide, it operates affiliate networks that have fewer than 500 employees.
As Neon Nettle reported in April, Planned Parenthood Keystone in Pennsylvania discontinued its in-person visitations for birth control and sexually transmitted infection (STI).
It later announced it would be open “for abortion services only."
The affiliate’s website stated:
“At this time, Planned Parenthood Keystone is serving patients in Allentown, Wilkes-Barre, Warminster, Reading, York, and Harrisburg for abortion services only."
In March, the Pennsylvania Department of Health ordered all businesses that are not “life-sustaining" to be closed but did not include the closure of abortion clinics.
The World Health Organization later stated that abortion was considered an essential service during the pandemic.
In the WHO's statement, they said:
"Services related to reproductive health are considered to be part of essential services during the COVID-19 outbreak.”
“Women’s choices and rights to sexual and reproductive health care should be respected, irrespective of whether or not she has a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection."