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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Kansas congressman is demanding that Planned Parenthood (PP) return tens of millions of dollars it received from the pandemic-related federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Representative Roger Marshall, R-Kan., told the Epoch Times on Monday that he wants Congress to ban abortion providers from receiving PPP loans and to require Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) offices to return the $80 million it received under the Wuhan virus economic relief initiative.
"We want legislation that specifically demands that Planned Parenthood give the money back for several reasons, including the Hyde Amendment," Marshall explained.
On July 27, Marshall introduced Bill H.R. 7792, "The Abortion Provider Loan Elimination Act" (APLEA). The bill seeks to authorize an "investigation into how Planned Parenthood illegally received $80 million through the program." His bill now has 23 co-sponsors, all of whom are Republicans.
In the same press statement, Marshall expressed outrage:
Like most pro-life Americans, I was outraged to learn Planned Parenthood illegally obtained tens of millions of dollars through the Paycheck Protection Program. Federal funds should never go to abortion providers, especially during a pandemic. As an OB-GYN who's delivered over 5,000 babies, I am proud to stand alongside the pro-life community in introducing this bill, which will ensure abortion providers cannot take advantage of our hard-earned tax dollars during a pandemic, and investigate how they were able to do so in the first place.
Marshall understands the PPP money was meant for small businesses that would go out of business had they not been able to pay their employees during the Wuhan virus shutdowns. Some establishments, however, took unfair advantage of the offer. Universities like Harvard were shamed into returning money they took from the emergency fund. Church Militant has also covered the problems with various Catholic dioceses around the country taking PPP money to cover their expenses.
Speaking of the abortion giant, Marshall observed, "They are a large association." He added, "This program was meant for businesses with 500 or fewer employees while they employ 16,000 people, and they have $2 billion in assets. This loan was not meant for them."
APLEA would extend the Hyde Amendment to the PPP program to child-killers like Planned Parenthood — a conglomeration that kills for profit around 350,000 preborn children each year. The Hyde Amendment, adopted by Congress in 1976, was named after the late Illinois Republican Rep. Henry Hyde. It prohibits federal money from funding domestic abortions.
When Congress approved the PPP program, it did not apply the Hyde provision to the $3 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security Act (CARES). Marshall thinks that was a mistake.
"We believe it should be [applied]. Those of us who believe in life and regard the sanctity of life think it should have been. But these were federal funds and they were used as forgivable loans to abortion providers," Marshall asserted.
Not only does Marshall see PP's money grab as inappropriate, but he is claiming there was an unethical breach of law.
"We actually think there was fraud in what they did. It was very fraudulent, and they should be prosecuted as well," Marshall said Monday.
He contends the success of the program cannot be denied, however, he believes the speed with which it was administered led to unethical disbursements:
The good news is the Paycheck Protection Program was the most successful federal program we ever saw rolled out. But we were in such a hurry to save jobs that we had to do it quickly.
In Kansas, it saved over 500,000 jobs, but we knew the opportunities for fraud and for grey areas would happen. Typically, when we have called out companies that took the money but shouldn't have, they returned the money, but there are still some out there hanging on to it, including Planned Parenthood.
While the program has enabled hundreds of thousands of small businesses to maintain payrolls during the nationwide lockdown, there wasn't enough oversight during the distribution. Marshall is happy the special inspector general for pandemic recovery at the Department of the Treasury is now conducting a broad investigation into how the PPP program is being administered.
The Epoch Times reported Monday a disturbing fact that, according to opensecrets.org, individuals connected to companies that received PPP loans have contributed $52 million to candidates and advocacy groups in the 2020 campaign cycle. Among those individuals were dozens of attorneys supporting presumed Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Marshall's pro-life credentials as well as his consistency on the issue of protecting life have not come without challenge in the political arena. While running for an open Senate seat in Kansas this summer, a super PAC supporting conservative Kris Kobach sent out a mailer accusing Marshall, an OB-GYN, of performing abortions himself. The claim stemmed from a tweet by a Kansas woman accusing Marshall of hypocrisy.
Marshall's campaign and Kansans for Life, the state's leading pro-life organization, decried the mailer as a smear. The medical procedure the woman claimed she underwent related to an ectopic pregnancy, and does not constitute an intended abortion, they said.
When an embryonic child is stuck in the fallopian tube of his or her mother, or has traveled within the mother's abdomen outside her womb, it is called an ectopic pregnancy. As the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) explains, as long as the child is not directly attacked, physicians may try to save the mother's life while both lives are morally certain to die if nothing is done. Catholic moral theologians, the pro-life movement and the medical establishment recognize this as a life-saving operation and not an abortion.