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February 8, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) withheld from the public communications with Planned Parenthood over economic aid money improperly sent to the abortion giant last year, newly-unearthed emails reveal.

Last summer, the U.S. Treasury Department and SBA revealed that the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), created by the $2 trillion CARES Act legislation enacted in the name of COVID-19 relief, had given six-figure or higher loans to no less than 43 Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country. Taken together, Planned Parenthood affiliates received somewhere between $65.8 million and $135 million from PPP.

Now, the Daily Caller reported that, via a Freedom of Information Act request, it has obtained from the SBA “heavily redacted” emails between the agency and Planned Parenthood affiliates discussing Republican demands to know how that money was sent to the abortion giant in the first place, although the redactions obscure the nature of those discussions.

One unredacted portion, from May 18, 2020, does show an SBA employee claiming that final eligibility determinations “are the responsibility of the applicant and the lender,” and that if “other eligibility criteria is met then the submission (of an unidentified recipient) may be eligible.” 

The subject line of another email, the content of which is fully redacted, reads, “PPP funds in new account.” The recipient of that email was Planned Parenthood of Northern New England finance Jennifer Meyer. PPNNE received a $2.72 million loan under the program.

So far, the SBA has refused to shed light on the redacted portions or answer questions raised by the new information, claiming it can’t release information on applicants who “did not ultimately receive a loan.” A spokesperson later admitted its initial suggestion that PPNNE didn’t get a loan was false, but otherwise remained tight-lipped.

“Americans have a right to know why their tax dollars went to Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinics instead of struggling small businesses, non-profits, and churches,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, one of the Republicans who originally demanded answers on the controversy. “The Small Business Administration ought to disclose how Planned Parenthood affiliates gamed the system to illegally receive PPP loans — and then refer those affiliates to the Department of Justice for prosecution.”

With the pro-abortion Biden administration having since taken over the federal executive branch, it is not expected to pursue answers to these questions or to stand in the way of Planned Parenthood receiving loans under future COVID-19 relief measures.