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Sen. Cruz Denies the Danger of Pregnancy in the Face of COVID and Alarming Maternal Mortality Rates in Texas

Credit: Olivier Douiliery/ Getty Images via KOSU Tulsa

Sen. Ted Cruz found himself in hot water this week with a statement he made on on social media regarding the danger, or lack thereof, of pregnancy. Claiming that “pregnancy is not a life-threatening illness” in a letter to the FDA regarding the pregnancy progesterone blocker, Mifeprex, Cruz and 20 of his Senate colleagues asked the FDA to name it as “imminent hazard to public health” and remove it from U.S. markets.

As you are surely aware, pregnancy is not a life-threatening illness, and the abortion pill does not cure or prevent any disease.

Sen. Ted Crus (R-Texas) and Senate colleagues in a letter to the FDA dated September 1, 2020

But here in Texas, pregnancy can be life threatening condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Texas has an 18.5% maternal mortality rate one of the highest in the country.

According to the Dallas Morning News, nearly one in six Texans, a little more than 5 million people, had no health care coverage in 2018. This hits especially hard for the one in four Texas women of childbearing age that don’t have insurance. Lack of insurance coverage means that fewer women seek prenatal care which in turn contributes to Texas’ high rates of maternal mortality.

In addition, Texas is facing huge COVID-19 numbers and no real plan to get them in check. (Latest numbers show Texas reporting 621,667 cases of COVID-19 as of September 1, 2020)

According to an article published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, pregnancy can make a woman’s body more susceptible to severe COVID-19. It’s partly due to two conditions unique to pregnant women — 1) their adjusted immune systems and 2) coronavirus’ unique points of attack, the lungs and the cardiovascular system, are already stressed in pregnancy.

So Mr. Cruz, you sir, are incorrect. Pregnancy can be a life threatening condition for many of your constituents.

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