WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 (UPI) — The state of Texas served subpoenas to Planned Parenthood locations in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Brownsville last week requiring the organization to turn over patient and employee records that include personal contact information in their quest remove Medicaid funding for abortion-related services.
Texas officials asked for complete patient records, appointment sheets and sign-in books for patients who had an abortion that resulted in parts of a fetus being preserved for use in scientific research.
Leaders in Texas have been arguing about Medicaid reimbursement of funds used for abortions or services related to them since controversial videos released in June appeared to show officials from the organization selling fetus parts, which is against the law.
Planned Parenthood has claimed the payments they received for fetal tissues donated for research are reimbursement for services associated with preservation, although the reimbursements were recently discontinued because of the video controversy.
In mid-October, the inspector general of the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, Stuart Bowen, sent a letter to Planned Parenthood locations in the stateabout moves to prevent them from receiving the reimbursements. Officials in Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana have already looked into ways of ending them.
“We’re concerned about the breadth and depth of what they’re asking for,” Sarah Wheat, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, told the New York Times.
The subpoenas ask for complete copies of specifically named patient’s records from November 2010 to September 2015, including physician orders, nurses notes, procedure and lab reports and any documents made “as part of normal business practices for each of the clients for the dates specified.”
State health officials also ask the locations to provide their complete business history, including ownership, appointment books, employee records and all contracts the locations have entered into.
The subpoenas are based on the videos — which Planned Parenthood says were edited to imply wrongdoing where none exists — and accusations by Bowen that the organization committed Medicaid fraud, the Houston Chronicle reported.
“It is completely outrageous that Texas officials are using thoroughly discredited, fraudulent videos to cut women off from preventive health care, including cancer screening, HIV testing, and birth control,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a press release.