Monday, July 3, 2017

PolitiFact: Texas ‘leading’ the nation in maternal mortality

Posted: 12:00 a.m. Sunday, July 02, 2017 A Democrat credited Texas’ Republican governor for highlighting maternal mortality and then made a claim about the state leading nationally in a disturbing way. State Rep. Shawn Thierry, D-Houston, noted in a press release circulated the day after Gov. Greg Abbott set the agenda for the special legislative session starting July 18 that Abbott authorized maternal mortality as a potential topic after Thierry and Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, had urged him to do so. Thierry said: “It was clear that a special session was going to happen and we now know that our Texas mothers are dying during childbirth at the highest rates in the nation. This time around, we cannot afford for party politics to stand in the way of resolving this crisis.” Abbott included “extending maternal mortality task force” in his session call, he said, to allow lawmakers to maintain the state’s advisory Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force into 2023. The group, created by the 2013 Legislature, is otherwise abolished as of September 2019. We wondered if Texas mothers are more often dying in connection with childbirth than mothers in other states. That’s been reported previously, including in a June 4 Associated Press news story stating researchers last year found the Texas rate “not only the highest in the U.S., but one of the highest in the developed world.”

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