The Trump administration has clarified that Planned Parenthood will not receive funds from the new Paycheck Protection Program, a loan plan designed to help small businesses keep their workers on payroll during the coronavirus crisis.
“It’s clear that the abortion industry shouldn’t be able to qualify for those funds, which are desperately needed by small businesses,” a senior administration official told Fox News.
For businesses with fewer than 500 employees, the principal on the government loan will be forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities. The employers will still have to pay the interest on the loan, overseen by the Small Business Administration.
“While each Planned Parenthood affiliate has fewer than 500 employees, nationwide it has over 16,000 employees. So when applying PPP’s affiliation rules neutrally, it’s clear that Planned Parenthood is one large employer and not eligible for PPP money,” a White House official told The Daily Signal.
“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.”
Franklin Graham commended the President, writing on Facebook: “Thank you President Donald J. Trump for making sure that no COVID-19 recovery funds from the Paycheck Protection Program are going to Planned Parenthood. … No part of taxpayer money or any kind of stimulus funds should go to this organization that exists to take life, not save life.”
The Trump administration’s stance toward Planned Parenthood has differed from the previous White House.
Last year, the abortion giant withdrew from the government’s Title X program due to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “Protect Life Rule.”
The rule prohibits Title X grantees from providing or referring patients for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or medical emergency. The rule also requires recipients of Title X federal family planning funds to be physically and financially separate from abortion operations.
Planned Parenthood refused to comply, and therefore, gave up nearly $60 million in taxpayer funding as a result of leaving the Title X program.
“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 said.
According to The Daily Signal, over 1.6 million businesses have received forgivable loans from the Paycheck Protection Program so far, with Trump saying that the SBA processed more loans in 14 days than it had in the previous 14 years.