Addressing Texas Maternal Mortality
Between 2010-2012, Texas’ maternal mortality rate doubled and continues to be a large concern within the state legislature. The Legislature extended the state’s Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force (MMMTF), which plays an important role in identifying and addressing the core issues contributing to maternal death and severe illness. The MMMTF has identified increasing access to health care for women during the year after delivery and improved continuity of care between repeat pregnancies as necessary measures to decrease maternal mortality.
Access to primary and preventive care plays a major role in reducing maternal mortality. Leading the country in the highest number of women who are uninsured, Texas has not extended Medicaid to provide coverage for many low-income adults thus they do not have access to these types of care. Despite its lack of primary care coverage, Texas does provide access to two preventive health care programs, Healthy Texas Women (HTW) and Texas Family Planning program for low-income women. These programs offer free contraceptive care; immunizations; and screenings for breast and cervical cancer, and much more.
Healthy Futures of Texas is leading advocacy efforts through the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition by encouraging the Legislature to study how women can be better connected to family planning services postpartum. HFTX works toward bridging the gap between the community and access to preventive care for ALL Texas women to plan and improve healthy pregnancies and families.