Funding of Abortions Through the Federal CARES Act Questioned
Planned Parenthood Centers across the nation received approximately $80 million under the federal CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program. Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE), which covers Connecticut and Rhode Island, received between $2-5 million. A more exact number was not released by the federal Small Business Association (SBA), which processes the loans. PPSNE abortion centers across Connecticut remained opened to perform abortions, while many other medical service providers closed their doors.
The problem with the allocation of funds to Planned Parenthood is that the CARES Act was written to exclude Planned Parenthood organizations. Federal funds are not usually allowed to be used for abortions based on what is commonly called the Hyde Amendment. The CARES Act appeared to present a new opportunity for Planned Parenthood to go around the Hyde Amendment. This is why many U.S. Senators and Representatives, when voting for the CARES Act, believed the special language in the law would exclude Planned Parenthood and prevent the money from being used for abortions.
The SBA was soon made aware that it had allocated funds to Planned Parenthood organizations in error. An immediate request for the funds to be returned was immediately made to the Planned Parenthood organizations that received them. This would include PPSNE here in Connecticut.
The national offices of Planned Parenthood defended receipt of the funds and has engaged in a legal and political battle to keep them. The resolution to this battle is yet to be known.