President Donald Trump’s administration made clear this week no money from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program will go to the nation’s largest abortion provider.
An official with the White House shared the clarification with the right-leaning Daily Signal on Thursday, telling the outlet, “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 administration staffer added.
The $349 billion SBA program, part of the larger $2 trillion coronavirus relief package past last month by Congress, allowed businesses with fewer than 500 employees to apply for a forgivable loan, so long as the employer retained all his or her workers. The official said the clarification was necessary because, though each Planned Parenthood affiliate employs under 500 people, the organization has more than 16,000 staffers nationwide.
“So when applying PPP’s affiliation rules neutrally,” the White House official explained, “it’s clear that Planned Parenthood is one large employer and not eligible for PPP money.”
In March, Planned Parenthood warned its supporters that the CARES Act — the COVID-19 support bill — could give the SBA authority to exclude its affiliates from receiving any funding, Fox News reported.
The abortion provider also argued the legislation included an “unnecessary” Hyde Amendment provision, which bars federal dollars from being used to pay for abortion services. Planned Parenthood described the provision as “a harmful policy that prevents people with low incomes from accessing safe and legal abortion coverage, to a state stabilization fund for providing coronavirus relief.”
After running out of money, in mid-April, Congress approved an additional $310 billion in funding for the SBA program.