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AUSTIN (AP) — A top Texas health official is stepping down after co-authoring a study about Planned Parenthood that triggered strong backlash from Republican leaders.

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Texas Health and Human Services Commission Spokesman Bryan Black said Thursday that Rick Allgeyer has decided to retire.

Allgeyer is the director of research at the massive, 55,000-employee state health agency and has worked in Texas government more than 20 years.

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Allgeyer was one of five co-authors on a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that suggested Texas’ cuts to Planned Parenthood are restricting access to women’s health care.

Republican leaders who pushed Planned Parenthood out of a state health program in 2013 rebuked the study and demanded answers from state health leaders about Allgeyer’s involvement.

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