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Health Dept Denies Politics in PP Case (Dec 20, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A supervisor at the Oklahoma Health Department says politics played no role in his decision to cut Planned Parenthood from a nutritional program administered through the group's Tulsa area offices.

Terry Bryce, who heads the Women, Infants and Children's program, acknowledged at a federal court hearing Thursday that a subordinate collected information about Planned Parenthood as he reviewed contracts but said the group's support for abortion rights was not part of his decision-making.

Planned Parenthood's lawsuit claims politics was behind Oklahoma's decision to not renew a $454,000 pact with three Tulsa-area clinics for food and nutritional counseling. Other area groups offer similar services under agreements with the state.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot says testimony could continue into Friday and that it is unlikely he will rule immediately.

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