By Baptist Message staff
WASHINGTON, D.C. (LBM) – Congressman Ralph Abraham has joined 20 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives to introduce a bill that would restrict abortion providers from receiving future funds through the Paycheck Protection Program.
The Abortion Provider Loan Elimination Act, H.R. 7792, was introduced Monday. If passed, the bill would investigate how Planned Parenthood was able to receive PPP funding and would prohibit the organization from being among those who would get future PPP loans.
The PPP was created as part of the CARES Act legislation that was passed to provide eligible small businesses with funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs including benefits in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
LifeSiteNews reported that no less than 43 Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country received loans of at least $150,000, with many being much higher. The Planned Parenthood affiliates collectively secured between $65.8 million and $135 million in PPP funds.
Abraham urged Louisiana Baptists and other pro-life supporters to contact the Democratic leadership in the House and ask they bring the bill to the floor for consideration.
“Unfortunately we have the Democrats in charge of the House and whether we get the bill to the floor is another issue,” Abraham told the Baptist Message. “We should be enraged that this money from the PPP loans went to Planned Parenthood. I would be shouting from the mountaintop if we pass this bill. I don’t want Planned Parenthood to get a single cent.”
The move comes a month after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Louisiana law, 5-4, that attempted to protect women involved in botched abortions.
In the ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with four liberal justices to strike down Act 620 that would have required abortionists to obtain admitting privileges with a local hospital in case of complications for the woman patient during or after an abortion. The law was passed by Louisiana voters in 2014.
Despite the setback, Louisiana voters will have the opportunity to pass the “Louisiana Life Amendment” that is slated to be on the statewide ballot Nov. 3. This proposed constitutional amendment reads “To protect human life, nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
The amendment aims to prevent a rogue state court from overturning common sense pro-life laws by “finding” a right to abortion that is not written into the state constitution, something that has happened in 14 states in recent years. The Louisiana Baptist Office of Public Policy is working with other groups around the state to organize a campaign in coordination with driectors of missions to help pastors inform their congregations about the issues and to energize members about the vote this fall.