UT professor Joseph Potter responds to attacks made by state on research

Christina Breitbeil

Joseph Potter, sociology professor and head of the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, defended himself Friday against accusations by the state claiming his abortion-related research is flawed.

Planned Parenthood, an international women’s health care provider and advocacy organization, filed an injunction late last month to halt the implementation of House Bill 2, which the Texas Legislature passed over the summer. The bill strengthens abortion regulations across the state. 

Planned Parenthood used Potter’s research in its injunction, which outlined the effects the bill would have on health centers and which the state attacked.

Potter stood by his findings in the plaintiff’s Rebuttal Declaration.

“When we initially spoke with plaintiffs’ counsel regarding the possibility of analyzing the likely effects of the admitting privileges law, we made clear that we would have to do our analysis following the rigorous standards of social science research and that I would be unwilling to make any statement unsupported by the data,” Potter wrote in the declaration.

Potter’s declaration used a point-by-point format to challenge the state’s charge.

A hearing will be held Monday in which Planned Parenthood, its plaintiffs, the state and its defendants will make their cases in court. Potter is scheduled to testify as a witness for Planned Parenthood. Both Potter and representatives from the attorney general’s office declined to comment.