FACT: Nancy Pelosi Repeatedly Tried to Use Coronavirus Bills to Fund Abortion, Planned Parenthood

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 4, 2020   |   12:14PM   |   Washington, DC

The liberal “factcheck” web site Politifact is once again misleading Americans about whether or nor pro-abortion Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been exploiting the coronavirus to attempt to force Americans to fund Planned Parenthood and killing babies in abortions.

In March, Politifact was caught providing false political cover for Pelosi’s abortion-funding schemes and the George Soros-funded web site is at it again.

In a June 2 article, Politifact erroneous claims that articles exposing how Pelosi is included funding of the abortion agenda in her legislation is “mostly false.” The article takes issue with LifeNews.com’s reporting titled “Nancy Pelosi Caught Once Again Trying to Include Abortion Funding in Coronavirus Bill” that covered how Pelosi was using the HEROES Act to advance her abortion agenda.

As LifeNews reported, according to the bill, states would be free to pass along taxpayer dollars to the Planned Parenthood abortion business from the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars states would receive. Pelosi’s bill also funds abortions directly with taxpayer dollars, overturning the long-standing Hyde provisions.

But Politifact falsely claims that’s not true.

“The HEROES Act doesn’t contain any mention of abortion services, and the proposed changes to funding rules aren’t specific to Planned Parenthood,” it claims.

Ironically, Politifact then admits the point: “The organization would be eligible for Paycheck Protection Program loans under the bill’s expanded eligibility guidelines for nonprofits.”

The so-called factcheck calls the LifeNews story “false news and misinformation” but then again immediately admits LifeNews’ reporting is accurate: “There is an element of truth to the claim that the bill does not explicitly restrict states from using funds to cover abortion services….”

While calling the LifeNews story “false news” Politifact continues admitting the reporting is correct, by stating: “Proposed changes to the PPP provisions aren’t specific to Planned Parenthood, which offers a range of women’s health services that includes abortions. But the expanded guidelines would make a large group like Planned Parenthood eligible for the loans.”

So the LifeNews report that Pelosi would open the spigots for Planned Parenthood funding is “false” in Politifact’s eyes because Planned Parenthood is one of many groups that could get funding under Pelosi’s bill.

How biased is Politifact? The only justification for its “mostly false” claim is a comment from Nancy Pelosi’s office and another from the Planned Parenthood abortion business. The liberal factchecker didn’t bother to contact either pro-life sources or even any non-partisan, independent sources for proof or verification.

LifeNews depends on the support of readers like you to combat the pro-abortion media. Please donate now.

The truth is that Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly used coronavirus bills to push abortion and Planned Parenthood funding. Here are examples from the bill text itself:

Division A, Title III—Financial Services and General Government (FSGG)—Coronavirus State Fiscal Relief Fund and Coronavirus Local Fiscal Relief Fund (pgs. 22-33)

These two relief funds, which lack clear pro-life protections, appropriate $540 billion for states and $375 billion for local governments to respond to and replace lost revenues due to COVID-19. It is unclear whether the funding is protected by the Smith Amendment (which prevents FSGG funds from paying directly for abortion procedures). The bill does not prevent states or local governments from using the funding to cover other abortion facility expenses.

Division A, Title VI—Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education—Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund—Health Care Provider Relief Fund

Division C, Title VI, Subtitle A—Assistance to Providers and Health System—HEALTH CARE PROVIDER RELIEF FUND—SEC. 30611

The bill creates a novel Health Care Provider Relief Fund containing $100 billion to “reimburse…eligible health care providers for…expenses or lost revenues to prevent, prepare for, or respond to COVID-19” (pg. 570). Eligible health care providers are defined as those that provide “diagnostic or testing services or treatment to individuals with a confirmed or presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19” (pg. 585). Given that some Planned Parenthood clinics offer primary care and may choose to provide the services outlined, they may be eligible for these funds. The fund is authorized in Division C (beginning pg. 570) and appropriated in Division A (pg. 87).

Division B, Title II—Additional Relief for Workers

This division includes expansions of federal subsidies of employer-sponsored health insurance, including plans that cover abortion:

Subtitle B— Section 20211 – Tax Credits to Prevent Business Interruption (pg. 236).

Amends the employee retention credit created in the CARES Act, HR 748. This bill provided a credit to employers for 50% of employee wages for each calendar quarter. This included the employee’s group health plan expenses. Many employer-sponsored health plans include coverage for elective abortion. HR 6800 expands the credit to 80% of employee wages, but it does not include any Hyde protections to ensure taxpayer dollars do not fund health plans that include elective abortion.

Subtitle C— Section 20221 – Credits for Paid Sick and Family Leave (pg. 267).

H.R.6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, included tax credits for paid sick and family leave. Through this credit, taxpayers subsidize the cost of health insurance that may often include elective abortion. This bill extends the tax credit an additional calendar year but does not include any Hyde protections.

Division C, Title III—Private Insurance Provisions, Subtitle B—Worker Health Coverage Protection (pg. 402-448)

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gave workers who lose health benefits the right to continue coverage for a limited period if the worker pays the full premium plus administrative costs. The HEROES Act provides that, between March 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021, the government will pay 100% of the premiums for COBRA continuation coverage. Many employer-sponsored health care plans include elective abortions, but no Hyde protections were applied to ensure that taxpayer dollars would not finance abortion-covering plans.

Division I, Small Business Provisions— AMENDMENTS TO THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (beginning pg. 821)

The CARES Act provided funding for federally-guaranteed, forgivable loans to small businesses and non-profits. It applied the Small Business Administration’s affiliation rules to determine whether applicants qualified for this assistance. Planned Parenthood, which has 16,000 employees nationwide, would have exceeded the 500 employee threshold if the Trump Administration had determined Planned Parenthood affiliates needed to be counted together. The HEROES Act removes the affiliation rule from the PPP. All nonprofits are now eligible for consideration, and Planned Parenthood may no longer be excluded due to its number of employees.

Division Q, Title I—Provisions Relating to State, Local, Tribal, and Private Sector Workers (pg. 1527).

The bill creates a COVID-19 Heroes Fund that will issue grants for employers to pay individual essential workers $13/hour up to $10,000 above normal employee earnings until 60 days after the last day of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Nothing bars abortion clinic employees from eligibility for this premium pay. In fact, the bill states that essential workers include “[h]ealth care work physically provided in outpatient settings (including… other clinics,… ambulatory surgical centers, and other related settings).” Nothing precludes Planned Parenthood, which has been deemed essential in several states, from applying for grants to provide its employees with this premium pay.

The pro-life group March for Life Action took Politifact to task and cited the same sections of Pelosi’s bill that push pro-abortion funding.

That Politifact would provide cover for Pelosi and abortion is no shock and it specifically targets LifeNews for criticism. LifeNews.com was not the only news outlet to report how Pelosi was exposed for including abortion funding in the anti-coronavirus bill. Politifact did not label as false reports from the Washington Examiner, RedState, Fox News, The Blaze, MRCTV, CBN News, the Christian Post, or other news outlets reporting the exact same development as LifeNews.

Politifact is run by liberal media outlets in Florida and is a project of the Poynter Institute (funded by liberal billionaire George Soros). Poynter last year was exposed for trying to take down almost 30 conservative web sites:

Poynter, the journalism institute responsible for training writers and reporters, decided to promote a left-wing smear of conservative groups online. The result was a hit job written by someone who works for the anti-conservative Southern Poverty Law Center for a journalism organization funded by prominent liberal billionaires such as George Soros and Pierre Omidyar.

Poynter is funded by Open Society Foundations, liberal billionaire George Soros’ massive foundations, as well as the Omidyar Network. The two combined for “$1.3 million in grant funding.” Funds were sent to Poynter specifically to establish the International Fact-Checking Network. The ‘UnNews’ list was started to help fact-checking organizations determine what was “unreliable.”

The hit job was so inaccurate and so misleading that Poynter had to remove it.

9. Politifact has a long history of false factchecks on abortion and LifeNews.com has repeatedly had to correct its bias and misinformation:

Politifact Falsely Claims Wendy Davis “Opposes Late-Term Abortions”

Politifact Misleads in Bashing Jon Kyl Over Planned Parenthood

Fact Check Web Site Politifact Claims Whether Abortion Kills Babies is a “Disputed” Fact

Politifact Wrong When it Comes to Planned Parenthood, Abortion

Fact Checking PolitiFact on Abortion: Mostly False

When it comes to abortion, Politifact is not a name readers can trust.