Texas Health Official Stepping Down After Controversial Planned Parenthood Study

Texas Health Official
File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 19 (UPI) — A Texas Health and Human Services Commission official stepped down after he was chastised for co-authoring a controversial study that suggested the state was limiting women’s access to birth control by removing Planned Parenthood from the state’s women’s health program.

Rick Allgeyer, the commission’s director of research, will be leaving the post effective March 31. He was one of five co-authors of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that found fewer women in Texas have access to long-acting contraceptives since 2013, when the Republican-led Legislature barred Planned Parenthood from a state women’s health program. The study found births paid for by Medicaid went up among some women.

“Rick Allgeyer is eligible for retirement and has decided to retire from the Health and Human Services Commission,” agency spokesman Bryan Black said.

Republican leaders demanded to know why Allgeyer was involved in the study and said he was not given permission to work on it. Republican state Sen. Jane Nelson denounced the study as invalid, partially because it was funded by a Planned Parenthood supporter, the non-profit Susan T. Buffett Foundation.

Planned Parenthood said the study underscores the political motivation in decisions regarding the organization.


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