A Texas state health official is stepping down from his position after being called out for working on a politically motivated abortion study during his taxpayer-funded work time, according to the Washington Post.
Rick Allgeyer, director of research at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, was a co-author of a University of Texas research study that claimed to show how de-funding Planned Parenthood hurt women and led to more welfare babies being born, according to the report. Many later found the study to be deeply flawed and politically motivated.
Bryan Black, a spokesman for the department, told the Texas Tribune Thursday that Allgeyer was disciplined for working on the study on taxpayer time. Black said Allgeyer and Imelda Flores-Vazquez, another state employee who helped co-author the study, also did not follow agency policy that requires employees to inform the department of their involvement in such things.
“He should have never been putting in time on this study during the normal business day, he was paid to perform state business,” Black told the Associated Press.
Allgeyer is supposed to step down from his job on March 31, according to the report.
The study was heavily touted by abortion activists and their supporters in the media earlier this month. It supposedly showed that Medicaid births increased and contraceptive claims decreased after Texas defunded Planned Parenthood, and these factors hurt Texas women.
However, Texas state Sen. Jane Nelson pointed out that the study was biased because it was funded by a Planned Parenthood supporter, the Susan T. Buffett Foundation. She said the study was flawed because it did not look at women who received contraception through other programs.
Nelson appears to have been the first person to notice the two state employees’ involvement with the study. Nelson recently asked the health department Commissioner Chris Traylor to review the study and explain why two department employees were co-authors, according to the news report.
“It’s one thing for an agency to provide data upon request. It’s quite another to be listed as a ‘co-author’ on a deeply flawed and highly political report,” Nelson told the AP last week. “I’ve communicated strong concerns to the agency. This should not have happened, and we need to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Michael New, a political columnist and assistant professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, broke down the problems with the study for LifeNews:
[T]he study analyzes Medicaid births only among a specific subset of Texas women — those receiving injectable contraceptives through the Texas Women’s Health Program (TWHP). It did not consider Medicaid births among Texas women receiving other kinds of contraceptives though the TWHP. It also did not consider data on either unintended pregnancies or abortions — both of which would be useful in evaluating the impact of the state’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood.
… Overall good public-health data from Texas indicates that since Planned Parenthood was defunded, abortions have gone down significantly. Additionally, the overall birth rate has gone down slightly. Most importantly, there is no evidence that the unintended-pregnancy rate has gone up. Sadly, but unsurprisingly, these important statistics have gone largely unreported by the mainstream media.
In 2013, an appeals court allowed Texas to block the abortion giant from its state-run Women’s Health Program, LifeNews previously reported. The judges’ panel ruled that the state could set eligibility standards for state funded programs.
Elizabeth Graham, president of Texas Right to Life, said Planned Parenthood would be eligible to participate in the state program if it stops promoting and committing abortion, which kills innocent unborn babies.