Texas Health Official Retires After Backlash Over Planned Parenthood Study

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One of the top officials at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (THHSC) announced his retirement following criticism by Texas GOP lawmakers over his participation in a women’s health study.

Rick Allgeyer, the THHSC director of research, announced he would take retirement late this week, according to THHSC spokesman Bryan Black in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. Earlier this month, Breitbart Texas’ Lana Shadwick reported that Republican Texas legislators were angry with Allgeyer over his participation in a study on women’s health that praised the work of Planned Parenthood. The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and was titled, “Effect of Removal of Planned Parenthood from the Texas Women’s Health Program.”

The Texas Senate Republican Caucus chair, Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), told Shadwick at the time, “The Texas Senate Republican Caucus was unanimous in saying that based upon our research, this is a biased study funded by a foundation which supports Planned Parenthood. The truth is that spending in the Texas state budget for women’s health is at an all-time high of $285 million. That’s a lot given the budget increase was just 1.8% a year for the entire budget so $50 million means something.”

Allgeyer penned the article along with four others. The study claimed that Texas was restricting access to women’s health care, a claim that Texas Republican lawmakers believe is simply not true.

Responding to Allgeyer’s sudden retirement, Bettencourt told Breitbart Texas on Friday, “What the Texas Republican State Caucus will do is recognize the obvious in public policy. The fact that women’s health funding is at an all-time high can’t be wiped away by a truncated bogus study done by folks that can’t imagine a world with Planned Parenthood in it.”

Texas State Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) is chair of the Senate Committee on Finance. She told Shadwick earlier this month, “This biased study overlooks the huge investments we have made in women’s health and discourages women from signing up for the services.”

State Senator Charles Schwartner (R-Georgetown) heads the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services which has oversight of the THHSC. “Just because Planned Parenthood disagrees with that position doesn’t change the fact that the Texas Legislature is funding women’s health services at record levels and working with a larger network of providers than ever before,” the senator told Breitbart Texas.

Shadwick reported:

The authors of the study researched only the years 2011 through 2014 and the Texas Senate Republican Caucus says this does not reflect the fact that women’s health clinics in Texas have doubled since 2014, and tripled from 2011 through 2015. They also overlook programs in Texas that deliver women’s health and planning services and focus only on Planned Parenthood and their affiliates.

Allgeyer worked at the THHSC and other Texas governmental agencies for over twenty years. The THHSC has over 55,000 employees according to its website.

Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. He is also a Life Member of the NRA. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.