In unannounced visits to nearly a dozen Planned Parenthood offices in the state, Texas officials delivered written demands for documents on Thursday as part of their ongoing investigation into the organization.
Investigators with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (THHSC) visited facilities in the Houston, Dallas, Brownsville and San Antonio to personally submit the subpoenas.
“Representatives from the Texas Office of Inspector General showed up at Planned Parenthood health centers … looking for an excuse to take health care away from thousands of women and men who rely on Planned Parenthood for preventive care—but what they will see is professional, compassionate and quality health care,” asserted Yvonne Gutierrez, the executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, in a statement.
According to reports, the subpoenas sought patient records, billing information and documents about employees going back to 2010. The investigation is believed to pertain to Medicaid fraud, but the Texas Tribune also notes that records were requested relating to Medicaid recipients who donated their baby’s body following an abortion.
“The breadth and depth of what was requested this morning was unprecedented,” Sarah Wheat, vice president for community affairs at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, told the American Statesman. “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.”
As previously reported, the Commission sent a letter to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast on Monday, providing the entity with a notice of termination of the organization’s Medicaid contract.
“[T]here is reliable information indicating a pattern of illegal billing practices by Planned Parenthood affiliates, including you, across the state,” the letter read. “Our prima facie case of fraud is supported by related cases involving fraudulent practices identified by whistleblowers from inside the Texas Planned Parenthood network.”
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