Project July 5, 2018
What Texas Can Learn from Poland on Maternal Mortality
It's a question public health experts, policymakers and advocates have struggled to answer since a study from the medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology found Texas' maternal mortality rate had nearly doubled between 2010 and 2014. It's a statistic that's propelled Texas to having the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world.
There are cold truths: prescription drug overdoses, lack of access to mental health services and more women are going into their pregnancies with chronic health issues. Texas legislators voted in August 2017 to have a state task force continue studying maternal mortality until 2023. A key task ahead of them: studying what other states are doing and recommending things Texas could emulate.
But thinking more globally could save mothers. That's why Poland should be a starting point for Texas.
Poland draws similarities to Texas because of its large population, geographic diversity, conservative government, heavy religious influence and contentious debates over access to abortion. Texas reproductive rights advocates have said the state's abortion politics have exacerbated women losing or forgoing access to reproductive health care.