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To read more about Senator Lankford’s border security policy proposal, CLICK HERE.

Lankford, Brecheen Demand Investigation into COVID Relief Going to Planned Parenthood

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Representative Josh Brecheen (R-OK) led their colleagues in the Senate and House in a letter to Inspector General (IG) for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Christi Grimm regarding more than $20 million in Provider Relief Funds (PRF) issued to Planned Parenthood under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Members ask the IG to review the funds to “determine whether the organization provided false or misleading information to obtain access to PRF funds.”

The Members wrote in their letter, “Congress intentionally designed the CARES Act so that no federal funding appropriated through the bill could be used on abortion… This organization did not possess a financial need for funds distributed through the PRF, nor should taxpayer dollars be given toward the provision of abortions. We request that you review the applications submitted by Planned Parenthood to determine whether the organization provided false or misleading information to obtain access to PRF funds. If it is discovered that Planned Parenthood intentionally falsified information on its applications, we ask that you submit a criminal or civil referral to the US Department of Justice.”

The following Senators joined Lankford, Brecheen, and their House colleagues in sending the letter: Jim Risch (R-ID), Tim Scott (R-SC), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), JD Vance (R-OH), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Lankford remains a strong voice standing up for life in the US Senate and has consistently pushed back against Americans’ dollars going to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. During the pandemic, Lankford joined Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Republican members of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) to demand information from Small Business Administration Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman regarding Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans that were illegally obtained and received by Planned Parenthood affiliates across the United States.

Lankford recently introduced a bicameral bill to clarify that HHS cannot discriminate against Title X grantees, including states, for their stance on protecting life. On the one-year anniversary of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Lankford spoke on the Senate floor to ask the simple question: when does life begin? Lankford also wrote an opinion piece for National Review to encourage pro-life Americans to keep up the work to make abortion not just illegal, but unthinkable.

You can read the full letter HERE or below:

Dear Inspector General Grimm:

It has come to our attention that Planned Parenthood and its affiliates were provided with over $20 million from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF). We request that you review the PRF applications submitted by Planned Parenthood and its affiliates to determine whether the organization provided false or misleading information to obtain access to PRF funds.

The PRF was established by Congress through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This fund was designed to provide financial assistance to healthcare providers and health systems that were limited with in-person visits and were forced to cancel elective procedures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, entities that received these funds needed to certify that they provided testing or care for COVID-19 cases.

Congress intentionally designed the CARES Act so that no federal funding appropriated through the bill could be used on abortion. As the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), you have the authority to conduct audits and investigations into allegations of waste, fraud, and abuse for HHS-administered programs and funding opportunities.

Planned Parenthood and its affiliates’ efforts are centered around abortion. Despite the pandemic and lockdown policies, in its 2020-2021 annual report, Planned Parenthood and its affiliates performed 383,460 abortions. This was an increase from the previous year, a time when Planned Parenthood performed 354,871 abortions. Planned Parenthood also provided fewer health services during the pandemic. Breast screenings fell by more than 30 percent, gynecological exams decreased by 39 percent, and total pregnancy tests decreased by 14 percent..

While most healthcare providers were financially strained by the pandemic, Planned Parenthood’s financial records show that the organization was not significantly impacted. In its 2020-2021 Annual Report, Planned Parenthood boasted $1.7 billion in revenue and possessed more than $2.5 billion in net assets. Even during the height of the pandemic, Planned Parenthood was able to maintain positive cash flow when many small businesses and actual healthcare providers were forced to close their doors to patients.

Planned Parenthood’s financial statements speak for themselves. This organization did not possess a financial need for funds distributed through the PRF, nor should taxpayer dollars be given toward the provision of abortions. We request that you review the applications submitted by Planned Parenthood to determine whether the organization provided false or misleading information to obtain access to PRF funds. If it is discovered that Planned Parenthood intentionally falsified information on its applications, we ask that you submit a criminal or civil referral to the US Department of Justice.

Thank you for your important work and attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

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