Texas Matters: Maternal Mortality Rates; Women In Texas Politics; & Juvenile Sex Abuse Scandal

Jan 5, 2018

This week on "Texas Matters," we look at a major flaw in the way maternal mortality rates in Texas are tracked (00:25). Also, why are more women running for office in the state (7:53)? And, finally, we examine what's behind a new sex abuse scandal in the Texas juvenile justice system (17:39).


'Lost Mothers'

In recent years, Texas has seen a dramatic spike in the number of women dying after childbirth. According to data collected by the state, the maternal mortality rate jumped 87 percent from 2011 to 2015. But what happens when the data is wrong?

That’s the finding in a new study. Propublica, a nonprofit newsroom that specializes in investigative reporting, has been covering the problems with Texas maternal mortality data in its “Lost Mothers” series.

Robin Fields is ProPublica's managing editor.

Women On The Run

2018 is being called the year of the female political candidate. Dozens of women in Texas are running for Congress this year. It’s been 22 years since there’s been a freshman female candidate elected to a full term, and there's a high number of women running down ballot as well.

Patsy Woods Martin is the executive director of Annie’s List, a Texas organization that trains, recruits and supports progressive women running for office.

Sex Abuse In Texas Juvenile Justice System

A coalition is calling for sweeping reforms to the Texas Juvenile Justice system after a new scandal has been uncovered in a state juvenile lock-up facility.

This is the third time in 10 years there has been a crisis, and reform advocates are calling for a reduction in large scale prison-like facilities in remote locations in Texas, as well as the expansion of smaller “close to home” programs that produce greater rates of rehabilitation.

Lauren Rose is the director of youth justice policy at Texans Care For Children, which along with the ACLU, Texas Appleseed and the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, is calling for sweeping reforms to the Texas Juvenile Justice System.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org or on Twitter @DavidMartinDavi