Who knew that cutting healthcare could affect health?

Posted on 22 Aug 2016 at 10:25am
texas-capitol

Texas Capitol

Obviously not the Texas legislature. A new study shows its pro-life policies actually killed people.

According to the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, the mortality rate related to pregnancy doubled between 2010 and 2014 in Texas. At the same time, budget cuts by the Texas Legislature to family planning clinics led to the shut down of 80 of them, many in places with no alternative care for poor women. While the target was clinics providing abortions, most of those 80 clinics didn’t perform abortion.

The report says, “in the absence of war, natural disaster, or severe economic upheaval,” but cutting off funds to clinics with little other source of income IS economic upheaval. Even with some funds restored in 2013, clinics had trouble restoring services to pre-cut levels. Planned Parenthood saw its funding from the state eliminated but survived the cuts, affecting its ability to provide mammograms and other screenings.

The new rate of maternal deaths — 23.8 per 100,000 births — is the highest of all 50 states (YAY! We’re No. 1) and the highest in the industrialized world. According to the CIA World Fact Book, that puts Texas on a par with Saudi Arabia. Take that Estonia with your 2 deaths per 100,000. However if we truly want to achieve Third World status in healthcare, we have some work to do to achieve South Sudan’s 2,054 maternal deaths per 100,000 births.

California, the only state with a larger population than Texas, saw a steady decline in its maternal mortality rate over the past decade. Maine and Vermont had the lowest rates of maternal deaths at 1.2 and 2.6 per 100,000 respectively.

Thanks, in large part to the hard work of Texas legislators, the U.S. is only one of eight countries whose maternal mortality rate is rising.

According to one report, one part of the problem is obesity. While those of us who avoid all things Walmart and take special medication before traveling outside I-635 might not notice that trend, Texas is pretty fat.

On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the ill-intentioned law that cut funding to abortion facilities, but mostly affected women’s healthcare.

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