Advocates Want To Know Why Black Mothers In Texas Are Dying After Giving Birth


By Victor Trammell

Public health advocates in Texas are rightfully worried about the disproportionate rate at which black women in their state are dying after giving birth.

According to a recent report published by the Texas Tribune, pressure is building on the Texas Task Force on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity to work with the House Public Health Committee of the Texas Legislature to investigate this emergency health crisis.

Earlier this month, Rep. Shawn Thierry, a Democrat who represents House District 146 in Houston had a bill of hers looked at attentively and passed by the Texas House Public Health Committee. Thierry’s bill is called HB 2403.

If it is signed into law, Thierry’s bill would authorize the Texas Task Force on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity to launch a full investigation into why black women in Texas die at triple the rate of other women after giving birth to their children.

This past Tuesday (May 9th), Guidry News published a press release, which contained a portion of a statement given by Rep. Thierry. The press release also reported that Thierry was just appointed to the Steering Committee of the Houston Endowment for Reducing Maternal Mortality. Her statement partially reads as follows:

“The maternal mortality rates in Texas are the highest in the country and, shockingly, are on par with countries such as Mexico and Turkey.  After reviewing the 2016 Biennial Report from the Task Force, I was alarmed to find that African American women are dying at an extraordinary rate.  This is an important piece of legislation, and I will work passionately on the Steering Committee with other leaders dedicated to saving Texas mothers.” (

HB 2403 looks to spur a number of professional research studies, which will hopefully get to the root causes of the sad state of affairs facing black women in Texas.

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