The fight to end Texas’ high maternal mortality rate

PBS NewsHour Weekend, PBS | By Kirsty Johansen
May 25, 2019

Texas made headlines in 2016 after a study claimed the state had the worst maternal mortality rate in the developed world. The study’s numbers turned out to be inflated, but Texas still has one of the most concerning maternal mortality rates in the U.S., particularly among black mothers, who die during childbirth at twice the rate white mothers do. Special Correspondent Kirsty Johansen reports.

If you’re an American woman, your chances of dying from pregnancy-related causes are higher than someone who lives in Sweden, Poland or Libya.

In an historic move this past December, President Trump allocated $50 million in funding to decrease maternal mortality over the next five years. Texas inadvertently became an emblem on the health crisis when it mistakenly overstated the number of maternal deaths in their state. But the error drew attention to the number of African-American women who still had higher maternal death rates than other populations.

NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Kirsty Johansen traveled to Texas to meet the woman who helped put this issue in the spotlight and is fighting for change across the country.

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