Shameful Record Of Politically-Motivated Neglect: Texas Leads The Developed World In Maternal Mortality Rates
Texas is just different: ask anyone from the U.S. who has ever been there. Hell, even people from Texas will tell you it’s different.
For one thing, many people from the state still consider it a country of its own, separate from the U.S. Yet it is still is on the receiving end of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal taxpayer largesse every year. And they have no compunctions about taking disaster relief funds from the rest of the U.S. when hurricanes or other natural disasters strike.
Yet nearly every year some politician or another from Texas proposes for the umpteenth time that the Lone Star State secede from the Union.
This year, some people from other parts of the U.S. are saying “Go ahead.”
Especially in light of the latest shameful statistics from the concerning maternal mortality rates: Texas has not only achieved the dubious honor of leading the U.S. in maternal mortality rates–it has a higher rate than anywhere else in the developed world.
Understand, maternal mortality rates are dropping in the developed world–outside the U.S. In the absence of war, famine or other disasters, the UN Millennium Development Goal for a 75 percent decline in maternal mortality is on track.
But not in the U.S., and especially not in Texas. In the U.S., the maternal mortality rate increased from 18.8 per 100,000 in 2000 to 23.8 in 2014, a 26 percent increase. In Texas the rate grew rapidly during that same period, but in 2011-2012 it suddenly doubled.
That was the same year that the Republican-led Texas state legislature decimated the state’s family planning budget. Originally $111.5 million, it was cut that year by $73.6 million, forcing the closure of some 80 family planning clinics. Among the services that were cut were free birth control, cancer screenings, and well-woman exams.
Well, without wanting to sound glib, the women are not well in Texas. While devastating the budget devoted to making sure that women and their babies might be born healthy, the legislature simultaneously allocated an additional $1.6 million to anti-abortion forces.
Yes, it was people who like to style themselves “pro-life” who contributed to the deaths of all those women, who gave all those children lives in which they will grow up without ever knowing the love of a mother. That is some strange kind of “pro-life” system of belief.
It should be the shame of the U.S. and especially Texas that in such a rich nation we still haven’t got the moral backbone to care for the most vulnerable among us.
Sorry, Texas: hiding behind supposed religious beliefs–beliefs that actually contradict Christ’s commandments to care for the poor and needy–doesn’t make you any less evil.
Maybe it’s time the rest of the U.S. talked about forced secession for Texas.