According to the World Health Organization the main causes of maternal deaths are these:

-severe bleeding (mostly bleeding after childbirth)
-infections (usually after childbirth)
-high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia)
-complications from delivery
-unsafe abortion.

And the factors preventing women all over the world from getting care during pregnancy and childbirth are:

-lack of information
-inadequate services
-cultural practices.

Now, consider the legislative focus of the “pro-life” Republican Party in Texas. They have made it more difficult for women to get reproductive health care by introducing the very factors that threaten the lives of women in other parts of the world.

Their draconian restrictions and funding cuts have closed over 50 women’s health care clinics in Texas. What isn’t often reported is that none of the Texas clinics forced to close actually provided abortions. Instead, the “pro-life” movement has cut off access to contraception, cancer screening and preventative care for many women in Texas.

When 300 Texas women with unwanted pregnancies were asked why they had not used contraception they listed “cost, lack of insurance, inability to find a clinic or inability to find a prescription.” In other words, for all intents and purposes, these Texas women might as well have been living in an impoverished nation.

If you are one of those who believes in forcing anti-choice laws on others, consider the following: According to the CIA World Fact Book, between 1990 and 2013 the global maternal mortality rate declined by 45%. Meanwhile, here in Texas, governed by “pro-life” Republicans, maternal mortality rates have risen- some claim they have quadrupled in the last 15 years.

We can argue about what those statistics mean, but this much is clear- forcing women into giving childbirth is also forcing them to take a greater risk than terminating a pregnancy under medically safe conditions.

I am sure most people working against safe and legal abortion are sincere and do not mean to endanger women, but when we force others to take a risk, it is an act of violence- even if we do so because we are “pro-life.”

Simple answers in a complicated world can kill.