New research published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology shows that my home state of Texas’ maternal mortality rate doubled between 2010 and 2012. Additionally, a report from Texas’ Department of State Health Services found that Black women accounted for nearly 30 percent of maternal deaths in 2011 and 2012, even though only 11 percent of all births in the state were to Black women.
These troubling statistics are a clear indication that the state is doing something wrong (or not getting something right).
This crisis didn’t come about on its own. Texas’ lack of comprehensive sexual health education, cuts to family planning programs, and the forced closures of abortion clinics all contribute to poor reproductive and maternal health outcomes. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that people need access to high-quality care to be healthy—or that playing politics with women’s health was sure to have dire consequences.