Jun 6, 2022 - News

Texas is mostly a maternity care desert

Data: March of Dimes; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Nearly half of the counties in Texas are maternity care deserts with no birth center, no obstetricians and no hospital offering obstetric care, according to a report by March of Dimes.

Why it matters: If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, as it's expected to, the ensuing increase in births will likely leave families in tough circumstances and strain systems that are already hanging by a thread, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.

  • Texas already has one of the country's strictest abortion bans in place.

Details: More than 2 million women of childbearing age lived in maternity care deserts in 2020, according to the report.

  • And millions more lived in areas with limited access to pregnancy care.

Zoom in: Most of the maternity care deserts in Texas are in rural areas.

  • North Texas' Van Zandt County has limited access to maternity care, and Fannin County is labeled a maternity care desert, per the March of Dimes analysis.

The intrigue: These maternity care deserts have a higher poverty rate than counties with access to pregnancy care.

  • "Counties with the highest percentage of uninsured women were found in Texas," the report said. Up to 45% of women in those counties are uninsured.
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