(WWSB) - Florida Senator Rick Scott and others have mailed a letter to Attorney General William Barr demanding an investigation after Planned Parenthood applied for and received PPP loans during the coronavirus pandemic.
The group acknowledged, according to Scott’s letter, that 37 affiliates applied for and received the loans. A spokesperson with the organization says that there are 49 member organizations of PPFA, identified in the group’s infrastructure as “affiliates.”
Scott tweeted a letter demanding to know why the affiliates filed for the Paycheck Protection Program, stating that those loans were intended for small businesses.
“This is unacceptable and these funds should be going to small businesses that truly need it,” wrote Scott.
Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida responded by releasing a statement to ABC7.
The statement reads in full:
Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida did receive a loan as part of the Payroll Protection Program. This loan has been used to pay our health services and health education staff to continue providing care and education to our patients. Before we applied for this loan we carefully scrutinized the eligibility requirement and it was abundantly clear that PPSWCF qualified for this loan. Our staff and Board were grateful to receive this loan to help us deal with the economic uncertainty facing all small business as the time.
PPSWCF is a member of the organization called Planned Parenthood Federation of America. We are an independent organization controlled by our local Board of Directors. We are a structure similar to the Boy Scouts, Girls Inc, Boys and Girls Club and other federation membership organizations. If these unfair and inaccurate interpretation of our bylaws is used to take back this loan from PPSWCF it could also hurt local organizations like Girls Inc or The Boys and Girls Club. That would be tragic for this community.
Mr. Scott’s letter to the Justice Department is just another tactic to attack our patients and our business partners. He is simply being a bully. Using his position of power to threaten our Board of Directors, staff and patients. He should be ashamed that he is spending time on this rather than tending to the critical health and economic needs of our communities.
WE have a dedicated staff of 187 nurses, clinicians, medical assistants, educators and physicians who have been providing essential care since the beginning of this pandemic. Our elected officials should be applauding these amazing health care providers not attacking us.