16 Countries Commit to Reducing Maternal Mortality
Late last week, 16 countries (see list here), 9 of which are from the African continent, pledged their commitments to reducing maternal, newborn, and child mortality, as part of the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health. The countries, supported by UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, the World Bank, and WHO, will focus on promoting increased contraceptive use, better access to obstetric care, immunizations, and the prevention of mother to child HIV transmission.
Anthony Lake, UNICEF executive director stated, "Focusing on the women and children in greatest need is not only the right thing to do, it moves us faster and most cost-effectively towards meeting the health Millennium Development Goals. By choosing to redouble their efforts on maternal and child health, these 16 nations are not only saving lives, they are making an investment in their future."
Launched in September 2010, the Global Strategy aims to reduce maternal and child death in developing nations. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the World Bank released a report in September stating that although maternal mortality rates have decreased by 34 percent since 1990, the decline in the rate of pregnancy-related deaths is not on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal target for 2015. Currently, there are approximately 1,000 maternal deaths per day caused by easily preventable conditions that include severe bleeding after childbirth, infections, hypertensive disorders, and unsafe abortion.
Media Resources: UNFPA Statement 5/20/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 5/2/11
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .