Thursday, February 25, 2016

Texas Director of Health and Human Services Forced Out For Report Critical of Family Planning Cuts

Washington Post (Feb. 19, 2016): Texas health official out of job over study favorable to Planned Parenthood, by Sarah Kaplan:

Rick Allgeyer, director of research at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, recently came under fire because of a  report he co-authored on the impact of Texas laws that cut funding for Planned Parenthood and other family planning providers in 2013.  Last week, an agency spokesman told the Texas Tribune that Allgeyer would step down from his post at the the end of March.

The study, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, found that following the cuts, the number of women obtaining long acting birth control through state funded family planning services dropped by a third.  It also reported a 27% change in the birth rate for women who had been receiving injectable contraceptives at Planned Parenthood prior to the funding cuts. 

A Republican state Senator Jane Nelson who helped design Texas's Women's Health Program claimed that the study was "biased" and lodged a complaint with the Commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commissioner, which led to the agency's investigation of Allgeyer.  Peter Schenkkan, a co-author of the study, expressed disappointment.  He told AP "The first step of a public official should be to face the facts.  Not to punish those who bring facts to them."

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