Tuesday, August 15, the Texas House and Senate adjourned sine die, bringing the First Called Special Session of the 85th Texas Legislature to a close. One bill that's particularly important to Texas mothers, SB 17 by Senator Lois Kolkhorst, relating to the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force, passed and is on its way to the Governor’s desk, where it is expected he will sign it into law.
SB 17 was passed unanimously by both chambers and we want to take a moment to thank our State Representatives and State Senators for their work on this important bill.
Why was this bill important to the AHA? Cardiac events and hypertension are killing mothers in Texas. Data shows that Texas has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the nation, and this rate has increased in recent years. The first and third leading causes of maternal death are cardiac events and hypertensive issues, respectively. African-American women are disproportionately impacted by maternal mortality in Texas, comprising just 11 percent of births but 29 percent of all maternal deaths in the state.
What does the bill do?
- Extend the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force until 2023. The Task Force, which is responsible for tracking and analyzing maternal mortality in the state, currently expires in 2019.
- Require the Task Force to study populations disproportionately impacted by maternal mortality and morbidity.
- Identify strategies to improve maternal outcomes and study best practices that have helped to reduce maternal mortality in other states.
Click here to send an email or a tweet to your State Representative and State Senator thanking them for passing this important piece of legislation and helping Texas mothers.