In 2011, the state of Texas had a sudden and startling increase of pregnancy-related deaths. That same year, the state aimed toward getting rid of grants for family-planning clinics in particular, cutting services by 66 perccent across the entire state.
Republican-dominated state legislatures decided that they were done funding Planned Parenthood, eliminating funding for any clinic associated with an abortion provider, although a lot of the family-planning clinics did not perform abortions.
This process dramatically affected low-income women who did not have access to affordable birth control. And, of course, everyone knows what happens then – more pregnancies. Eight-thousand well-woman clinics, along with the only clinic a woman could get an abortion at between Fort Worth and El Paso were closed.
A recent study was conducted at the University of Texas, and was published in September’s issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Although the study did not indicate the clear cause for Texas’ huge increase in pregnancy-related deaths, researchers were quite puzzled as to why the number of deaths had more than doubled within a year. Seventy-two women died in 2010 of pregnancy complications, and that number skyrocketed to 148 in 2011.
‘Still, in the absence of war, natural disaster, or severe economic upheaval, the doubling of a mortality rate within a two-year period in a state with almost 400,000 annual births seems unlikely.’
Researchers also found that Texas’ women’s health program only served less than half of the number of women that were seen two years prior to the state making cuts to family planning funds.
One of the lead researchers, Kari White, had this to say, in part:
‘Teens obviously, when they lose access, they don’t have a lot of financial resources to go elsewhere for care so they may go without.’
Texas’ Department of Health has not come up with any kind of explanation at all, or even a solution, but has said that a task force is investigating the issue.
Check out the video below courtesy of YouTube:
Featured image screengrab via YouTube