Were you aware that women are 14 times more likely to die from complications related to a pregnancy than an abortion? Researchers in Texas were hoping to study that phenomenon but were sidetracked by pro-life Republicans.
Texas suffers from the highest maternal mortality rate with 190 women died due to pregnancy complications in 2012. During that same time period, no women died from complications stemming from an abortion.
Ultra-conservative Texas House Republicans don’t seem to care about that stark contract. Last Thursday, the group voted down
Last Thursday, conservatives debated a bill that would make sure health providers are punished if they don’t report complications related to abortion. The bill was Filed by Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, a Southlake Republican. HB 2962’s authors don’t believe that abortion procedures can be that safe and hope this bill will prove them right.
The bill would “provide a more accurate picture of abortion complications in Texas,” according to Capriglione. He claims, “The data we’re getting is not right.”
It should be noted that state abortion providers are already required by law to report any complications to the Department of State Health Services within 30 days. Capriglione’s bill requires doctors to include additional personal information about the patient, like the date of her last menstrual cycle and her marital status. A last-minute amendment from Rep. Matt Schaefer would also require doctors to report the incident within 72 hours.
Opponents of the bill say its just another attempt to mislead women and the public about the legality and risks associated with abortions.
A statewide coalition of reproductive rights groups called Trust Respect Access says the bill is meant to “stigmatize abortion and abortion providers and to shame women seeking abortion.”
Rep. Carol Alvarado, a Houston Democrat, asked Schaefer why he was focusing on regulating one of the “safest” medical procedures in the state.
“Abortion is not safe for the baby,” he replied.
Republicans Delayed A Bill That Could Save African American Women
Republicans argued for so long about the bill that actual measures meant to improve maternal health were never heard. Specifically, House Bill 2403 was written to investigate why African American women in Texas are dying at three times the rate of any other women during or shortly after childbirth.
House Bill 2403 was written by Houston Democrat Rep. Shawn Thierry. She said that Republicans’ refusal to hear her legislation made “black women a casualty of a political civil war.”
“It’s a sad day in Texas that while African American mothers are dying, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle continue to play politics,” she said in a press statement.
This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, as Texas Republicans have made it a lofty goal to undermine abortion while avoiding other medical issues women face in the state. This is after all the state that slashed family planning services by 66% in 2011.
Capriglione’s anti-abortion bill is already headed to the Senate floor after just two weeks.
Welcome to the Red State…