News Law and Policy

Texas Goes After Planned Parenthood in ‘Unprecedented’ Investigation

Teddy Wilson

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement that the actions taken by Texas officials should be a “national scandal” and that the organization would continue fighting back against attempts to restrict women’s reproductive health care.

See more of our coverage on the misleading Center for Medical Progress videos here.

Investigators from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) on Thursday served subpoenas for records at Planned Parenthood offices in San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston, reported the Austin American-Statesman.

Officials from the state also visited Planned Parenthood’s Brownsville clinic, now closed, which did not provide abortion services.

State officials were seeking a wide range of information from the organization including patient records, billing information, and employee information. Sarah Wheat, vice president for community affairs at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, told the American-Statesman that the scope of the investigation was like nothing they had seen before.

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“The breadth and depth of what was requested this morning was unprecedented,” Wheat said. “Today’s visits were clearly politically motivated. We’re all pretty surprised by how far the [state] is willing to go to try to shut down Planned Parenthood health centers.”

Investigators were reportedly seeking Medicaid records dating back to 2010, reported the Texas Tribune.

The attorney general’s office and the HHSC are both investigating Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue donation program, however, sources told the American-Statesman the subpoenas were related to alleged misuse of federal Medicaid funds.

None of the Texas agencies have produced any results from the announced investigations.

To date, states that have conducted investigations into Planned Parenthood have discovered no wrongdoing by the organization concerning fetal tissue donation laws.

Texas HHSC Inspector General Stuart Bowen issued a letter Monday to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, informing the organization that he was ending its participation in the state’s Medicaid program. However, the letter cited “acts of misconduct” in surreptitiously recorded videos published in recent months by an anti-choice front group that has seen its work widely discredited.

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement that the actions taken by Texas officials should be a “national scandal” and that the organization would continue fighting back against attempts to restrict women’s reproductive health care.

“It is completely outrageous that Texas officials are using thoroughly discredited, fraudulent videos to cut women off from preventive health care, including cancer screenings, HIV testing, and birth control,” Laguens said.

A spokesman for the HHSC told the American-Statesman that he could not comment on “any oversight activities” by the Office of Inspector General.

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