Texas Legislators have failed to take concrete steps to address the state’s sudden rise in the Maternal Mortality Rate just months after researchers discovered it has the highest in the U.S. and the developed world.

Lawmakers presented bills that would address the issue after a study by the University Of Maryland showed that the state’s pregnancy-related deaths increased at an alarming rate of more than100 percent between 2010 and 2012. But several important measures recommended did not survive in the vote, owing to Republican infighting over the issues.

Alarming mortality rate

AP quoted ” Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, a Republican, as saying "We had a chance to move the needle and we really failed to do so...certainly, as we develop in medicine, we can do better to take care of women in today's society versus past societies. I'm very disappointed."

Legislators will have to wait until 2019 before reconvening to discuss the bill as this year’s season has come to an end.

Kolkhorst presented a measure with massive support that would have lengthened the Texas Maternal Mortality Task Force's life span to 2023 from its present 2019 validity date. The extension would have allowed a close analysis and careful examination by the committee of doctors into the root causes of pregnancy related deaths.

Research findings

The task force came into being in 2013 to undertake a study on what was already believed to be an alarming maternal death rate by lawmakers. Research conducted by the University of Maryland found that Texas had the highest maternal mortality rate in the United States and elsewhere. The research also shows that apart from Mexico, the death rate in the state was higher than that of countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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This information came from comparison studies of their annual maternal mortality rate reports. There was no further explanation from that study for the reasons of the mortality.

Extended mandate

“It is important for us to undertake a careful examination of the root causes and preventive measures of many mother to child fatalities in Texas,” Lisa Hollier, the task force’s chairwoman said on the extension of the mandate of the force.

“The comprehensive reviews we are conducting are necessary for understanding the real causes of deaths,” Hollier said. She further explained that though her committee has discovered that cardiac complications are major causes of maternal mortality, that alone, does not lead to clear information that would warrant appropriate intervention programs.