Apparently, the researchers did some adjusting of their own. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), maternal mortality rates have been alarmingly increasing for years. That “modest increase,” lead researcher Marian MacDorman imagines, was a huge increase. In 2000, the MMR was 10.5 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births (equating to 30 tragic deaths). By 2009, this rate had nearly tripled to 28.9 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births (resulting in 116 deaths). That’s a “modest increase”? In 2010, the MMR actually decreased to 24.6.
Then, MacDorman et al claimed: “Texas had a sudden increase in 2011-2012.” If by sudden they mean over ten years of significant increases … sure. They completely ignored the fact that from 2010 to 2011, the MMR rose from 24.6 to 30.7 (an increase of about 25 percent). From 2011 to 2012, the increase was only 3%, rising to a rate of 31.6 … not doubling! That didn’t stop Slate.com and a host of media outlets from declaring: “After Texas Slashed Its Family Planning Budget, Maternal Deaths Almost Doubled.” In 2013 it rose another 25 percent to 39.5 (claiming the lives of 153 women).
Here’s the clincher, though. Texas’ MMR dropped in 2014 in rate and total maternal deaths.
Women in childbearing years should have monthly prenatals with nurse midwives/OBs and avoid drugs (including opioids during pregnancy and labor).