Social work master’s student Daniela Bermea wrote an opinion piece for the Austin American-Statesman on the many ways in which the state of Texas is failing mothers.

Texas, Bermea writes, has the highest mortality rate in the developed world: nearly 36 women out of every 100,000 giving birth are dying from pregnancy-related complications. Texas is also the uninsured capital of the United States, where 21 percent out of an estimated 12.5 million women are uninsured.

In the piece, Bermea recalls her study abroad experience in Oaxaca, Mexico, for which she participated in rotations in a public hospital:

“I was in one of the poorest states in Mexico — with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country — and I remember thinking that nothing like this would ever happen in the United States. I was wrong.”

She goes on to suggest Texas start respecting women in the space where and the moment when they become mothers:

“Today, women often endure a series of dated, non-evidence-based procedures, such as  having to give birth on their backs, early inductions, refuser of food and water during labor, continuous fetal monitoring, drugs and procedures to speed up labor, and a national C-section rate more than double the 10 to 15 percent recommended by the World Health Organization.”

Read the full article.