By Nina Martin
Last week, researchers studying maternal mortality in the U.S. reported an ominous trend: The rate of pregnancy-related deaths in Texas seemed to have doubled since 2010, making the Lone Star State one of the most dangerous places in the developed world to have a baby.
Reproductive health advocates were quick to blame the legislature for slashing funding in 2011201312 to family-planning clinics that serve low-income women, calling the numbers a “tragedy” and “a national embarrassment.”
Now a 15-member state task force has issued its own maternal mortality report, offering a new view of what might be going on. The bottom line: Maternal deaths have indeed been increasing in Texas, members said, and African-American women are bearing the brunt of the crisis.
For 2011 and 2012, black mothers accounted for 11.4 percent of Texas births but 28.8 percent of pregnancy-related deaths. [Read more…]