Senator Borris Miles continues his commitment to women’s health by successfully adding an amendment to SB 17 dealing with the opioid epidemic and maternal mortality.

Maternal mortality is a major problem for our state. Texas leads the world in pregnancy-related deaths. For Black women, the numbers are even more devastating. African American women represent 11 percent of births in Texas, but 29 percent of maternal deaths.

During the regular session, Senator Miles successfully passed SB 790, to extend the Women’s Health Advisory Committee for another two years and SB 1599 to improve maternal mortality reporting. Unfortunately, Governor Abbott vetoed SB 790, but it did not deter Senator Miles. He continues to lead the fight for women’s health, especially when it impacts our mothers.

“Today, I worked with my Senate colleagues to amend SB 17, which would expand the work and role of the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force,” said Senator Miles. “While cardiac issues are the primary cause of maternal deaths, drug overdose, especially those related to the opioid crisis is second. My amendment will give doctors substance abuse screening tools and resources to better identify at-risk pregnant women.”

Amendment 3 of SB 17 is taken directly from SB 26, also authored by Senator Miles. This amendment will improve the materials and prevention strategies available to doctors to address women who may be addicted to opioids.

“Maternal mortality touches so many in my district, and we need more solutions for this public health crisis. I want to thank Senator Lois Kolkhorst for accepting my amendment to provide more tools to healthcare providers to address the second leading cause of maternal deaths,” said Senator Miles.

SB 17 passed on second reading in the Texas Senate 31-0. It will come for a third and final vote in the Texas Senate tomorrow, July 25, 2017, per Senate rules.

Leave a comment