A new study released by the University of Maryland has named the state of Texas as having the highest maternal mortality rate of any state in a developed nation. Just another star in the cap of the “great state” of Texas!
In a state where pro-life is king and many family planning clinics have been forced to close due to strict state requirements, it is the most vulnerable in the population that end up losing their lives. One of the most troubling stats reported in the University of Maryland study was that although black women only make up 11 percent of births, a shocking 28 percent of women who died were black. Marsha Jones, executive director of a reproductive justice organization founded by and for black women in Texas, stated:
When you do things like making access to abortions almost impossible, the impact that’s going to have on our states most vulnerable population is worse and worse.
In response to the troubling results of the study, Texas congressman on both sides of the aisle introduced multiple bills aimed at identifying what is causing the problem and coming up with solutions—including bills that were backed by the Texas Medical Association and the American Heart Association. One of the bills proposed would have extended Medicaid to more low-income mothers and given it to them for a longer period post-partum. But Tea Party Republicans voted down every bill as a stunt to protest the lack of support for their own special interest bills. According to Republican Senator Lois Kolkhorst
We had a chance to move the needle and we really failed to do so. Certainly, as we develop in medicine, we can do better to take care of women in today’s society versus past societies. I’m very disappointed.
What is truly disappointing is that pregnant women in Texas are dying in larger numbers than any other developed nation and Tea Party Republicans chose to throw a temper tantrum over not getting their way rather than allow a bill to pass that would actually address the issue. Aren’t Tea Partiers supposed to be “pro-life”?