So this is pretty impressive: A new study finds that Texas’s effort to protect women from the horrors of Planned Parenthood by defunding health clinics has worked so well that the state’s maternal mortality rate doubled between 2010 and 2014. In fact, Texas now has the highest rate of women dying from pregnancy complications in the entire developed world. If Texas keeps it up, there’s a terrific chance the state could soon have maternal death rates surpassing third world countries as well! Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the piles of women’s corpses. No, that is very unfair of us. All those women are dying alone and at different times and places, so you actually have to do research to find out they are dying. Much more tidy that way.
Tell us more of this latest horror from the Lone Star State, please, British newspaper The Guardian:
The finding comes from a report, appearing in the September issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, that the maternal mortality rate in the United States increased between 2000 and 2014, even while the rest of the world succeeded in reducing its rate. Excluding California, where maternal mortality declined, and Texas, where it surged, the estimated number of maternal deaths per 100,000 births rose to 23.8 in 2014 from 18.8 in 2000 – or about 27%.
But the report singled out Texas for special concern, saying the doubling of mortality rates in a two-year period was hard to explain “in the absence of war, natural disaster, or severe economic upheaval”.
From 2000 to the end of 2010, Texas’s estimated maternal mortality rate hovered between 17.7 and 18.6 per 100,000 births. But after 2010, that rate had leaped to 33 deaths per 100,000, and in 2014 it was 35.8. Between 2010 and 2014, more than 600 women died for reasons related to their pregnancies.
No other state saw a comparable increase.
Oh, just six hundred women? That’s a very small price to pay for the much greater good of getting more unwanted babies borned, isn’t it? Let’s predict the likely rightwing responses to this news: 1) The science has to be wrong, because it is published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and that journal is nothing but a tool of Planned Parenthood and the liberal agenda. 2) 600 dead women is nothing compared to all the babies holocausted in abortion clinics during that period, so it’s a net win for “Life.” 3) Borrowing a tactic from gun humpers, you could compare the 600 deaths to car accidents or drownings, and thereby make them not matter so much. Besides, they are probably only poor women who don’t have the gumption to get a job and insurance, so good riddance. And Jesus smiles upon the “Pro Life” legislators of Texas.
If only someone had had the foresight to predict this unfortunate outcome of Texas’s cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood, huh? Like maybe all the people who warned that cutting funds for women’s health clinics was a bad idea. Apart from them, no one could have predicted this.
[R]eproductive health advocates are blaming the increase on Republican-led budget cuts that decimated the ranks of Texas’s reproductive healthcare clinics. In 2011, just as the spike began, the Texas state legislature cut $73.6m from the state’s family planning budget of $111.5m. The two-thirds cut forced more than 80 family planning clinics to shut down across the state. The remaining clinics managed to provide services — such as low-cost or free birth control, cancer screenings and well-woman exams — to only half as many women as before.
At the same time, Texas eliminated all Planned Parenthood clinics – whether or not they provided abortion services – from the state program that provides poor women with preventive healthcare. Previously, Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas offered cancer screenings and contraception to more than 130,000 women.
In 2013, Texas restored funding for the family planning budget to original levels. But the healthcare providers who survived the initial cuts reported struggles to restore services to their original levels.
So we guess Texas will certainly learn its lesson from this increase in deaths among pregnant women who wanted to be mommies: cutting funding to women’s health clinics in order to punish Planned Parenthood for doing ‘bortions is actually going to result in women being less healthy, if you can imagine that. And with the zika virus threatening to result in horrible birth defects, we’re sure Texas has gotten its act together and is restoring funding to women’s clinics, right? Hahaha, that is a sarcastic setup for what you knew was coming:
[A]bout half the state lacks ready access to OB-GYN care, making it difficult for women to obtain contraception or for pregnant women to confirm the health of their babies. Just this month, Texas’s health department drew fire for allocating $1.6m of the $18m the state budgets for low-income women’s family planning to an anti-abortion group that does not provide basic health services.
That’s not really such a bad thing, is it? We bet those pamphlets telling women abortion is evil can still be used to swat mosquitoes.
If Molly Ivins, that Texas saint whose birthday we’ll celebrate on the 30th of this month, were here to see this, she would surely raise 600 kinds of hell over it. With Molly currently unavailable, Texas women and sane people around the nation will have to do it for her.
If, in addition to the political activism you’re no doubt going to throw yourself into, you’re of a mind to help out Planned Parenthood, here’s their secure donation link, at which you can either give to the national organization or direct money to a local Planned Parenthood affiliate — of which Texas has three.