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Will The Guardian Apologise Over Texas Maternal Death Statistics?

Will it ‘eck is the likely response to that of course but there is an element of it being necessary to demand more. For, here’s a piece from the Guardian:

Texas has highest maternal mortality rate in developed world, study finds
As the Republican-led state legislature has slashed funding to reproductive healthcare clinics, the maternal mortality rate doubled over just a two-year period

Yes, you know, Republicans, naughty righties, are killing mothers. Of course, we get Jessica Valenti piling in on this:

Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world.

This dubious honor is a recent one, with a study showing that the rate of women dying from pregnancy complications doubled from 2010-2014. It’s not a coincidence, of course, that there was another major happening around women’s health in Texas during those years: the deliberate closure of clinics that provide abortion and a drastic funding cut to the state’s family planning budget.

As my colleague Molly Redden points out, Texas gutted the state’s family planning budget by more than $73m in 2011, forcing clinics to shut down and dramatically reducing the number of women they could provide services to. By 2014, 600 women had died from pregnancy-related complications.

It’s almost as if what feminists have been saying for years is true: limiting reproductive rights hurts women across the board. Access to reproductive care is necessary not just to prevent or end pregnancies, but to ensure healthy outcomes for those who choose to carry their pregnancies to term.

Well, yes. Except the maternal mortality rate didn’t double at all. They’d just been counting wrong. The same problem which leads to much of the demand for abortion services of course:

A startling data point that showed Texas had the highest maternal mortality rate in 2012 and prompted increased legislative focus on the issue last year was actually incorrect, according to a study published Monday.

A 2016 study published in the medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology said that in 2012, Texas reported 147 women who died from pregnancy-related causes. The same journal on Monday released a new study by Texas Department of State Health Services researchers who say the number of maternal deaths was much lower 56.

Note that the absence of the spike also means the entire absence of any connection with the provision of abortion or other family planning services. Or indeed, evil Republicans trying to grind women’s reproductive rights into the dust.

So sloppy, in fact, that more than half of the deaths that were recorded as pregnancy-related that year were recorded that way in error.

And the rate – the important number to observe – falls below the national average as a result. So, yes, we will be seeing retractions of those stories, won’t we?

No, really, we’re in a battle about truth and the proper management of life, aren’t we, not just spouting propaganda…..

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6 years ago

“Recorded in error” – by government statisticians who were angry about the funding cut to reproductive services (the current euphemism for taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand) and lied as completely as the “global warming” hockey stick precisely so that rags like the Guardian would run with it and media would start quoting one another and ignore the source. Alongside the lie that, without government paying for pregnancy services, the parents (self-reliant Texans!) certainly won’t take up the slack. Before the Guardian apologizes, government professionals in Texas need to be told they have failed in their job function (counting) and fired and shorn of… Read more »

6 years ago

Questions in The Continental Telegraph we can answer:


But honestly, the rule for any paper is that if the title is a yes/no question then the answer is no.

6 years ago
Reply to  synp

Had to look that up.'s_law_of_headlines

“A headline with a question mark at the end means…that the story is tendentious or over-sold….a question mark means ‘don’t bother reading this bit’.” Oh, Tim. Click-bait?

6 years ago
Reply to  Spike

Agree; mine is a pull-quote from the Wikipedia article that amused me more than the definition.

6 years ago

Saw something where they mentioned that Memphis had above average infant mortality and that it was 8 per 1,000
My wife commented that while it would be good to lower it even further it was amazing how in 100 years we had gone from having large families with child death being high to such a low figure even though at an individual level she understoood how heart breaking it was for the families.

Others are not doubt outraged and and are desperately seeking a way to pin it on their enemies and use it to promote themselves

Hallowed Be
Hallowed Be
6 years ago

I had a little browse of the corrections part of the G, just to check the contention put above. No apology or clarification on this that i could find.. but this caused an upturned eyebrow… i think it should be the mixed team relay.

“An article commenting on the closing ceremony of this year’s Commonwealth Games said Alistair and Jonny Brownlee left without medals. While they didn’t make the podium as individuals, the brothers were in the team that won silver at the mixed race relay (Gold Coast finale lowers the bar for Birmingham, 17 April, page 43).”

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x