Maternal MortalityThis rate is higher than that of the US as a whole (21 out of 100,000) from 2010 data. Given the unavailability of abortion in Texas for many or most pregnant women, we can expect this rate to rise. But dead women don't count. And those still alive don't seem to count much either.
In 2010, 95 women died as a result of pregnancy or childbearing, for a maternal mortality rate of 24.6 per 100,000 live births. The maternal mortality rate for Black women of 53.9 is lower in 2010 than it was in 2009 (66.0) but continues to be higher than the state value. The maternal mortality rate for White (excluding Other) women decreased to 27.0 in 2010 from 30.8 in 2009. Among Hispanic women, the maternal mortality rate decreased to 17.5 in 2010 from 18.4 in 2009. However, rates based on small numbers may be misleading (see Technical Appendix).
Update: Amanda Marcotte notes the flaw in the fifth circuit court decision yesterday:
The panel of judges also claimed that the new law was "not designed to strike at the right itself."'Considering childbirth' suggests there are real options, but the court just took those away, Marcotte notes.
If so, they should tell that to Texas Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell, who defended the law in front of Judge Yeakel and argued that blocking women's access is, in fact, the point of the law. As reported by Andrea Grimes of RH Reality Check:
As proceedings began, Texas Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell said that not only does the state contend that HB 2′s provisions are necessary to protect the health of Texas women, but the state has a vested interest in “protecting the life of the unborn child,” and therefore has the right to impose “inconveniences on women seeking abortion in hopes that it may lead women considering abortion to consider childbirth instead.
There will be no "considering" for the women affected by this decision. In order to consider, one must have a choice, and for women who cannot afford to travel for hours and take multiple days off work to get an abortion now that the closest clinic is closed, choice is removed from the equation. For those women, the better phrase is "forced to give birth instead."I have a feeling that methotrexate and misoprostol (the ulcer drug Marcotte notes; methotrexate is an arthritis drug also used in cancer treatments; both together induce abortion; by itself misoprostol usually but not always works).
Other women will decide that, since the state has removed legal abortion as an option for them, inducing miscarriage at home—usually through ulcer medications brought over from Mexican pharmacies—will be preferable to suffering childbirth they have already considered and decided they do not want. This method is largely effective if done correctly, but unfortunately information to do it correctly is hard to find. Funny how these new "health regulations" leave women with two choices—illegal abortion or unwanted childbirth—that are both well-known to be less healthy than legal abortion.