UNFPA: More Midwives Would Increase Healthier Pregnancies, Births
Public health experts and midwives gathered in Tunisia on Tuesday for the first International Forum on Midwifery in the Community, urging governments to promote midwifery as a means to decrease maternal and infant death rates. Members from the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other organizations from 20 countries called on governments to invest in training and supporting midwives in order to ensure that every woman has access to a skilled care provider during childbirth, something the UNFPA identifies as a "woman's basic human right." According to the 2005 WHO World Health Report, an estimated 334,000 additional midwives are required to reduce the number of maternal and infant deaths and disabilities during childbirth, the UNFPA cites in its release.
The UNFPA reports that, after an initial investment in midwifery programs, several countries including Costa Rica, Egypt, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Tunisia have seen an improvement in the health and well-being of new mothers and babies. Worldwide, WHO found in 2005 that approximately 530,000 women die from preventable pregnancy- and childbirth-related causes, and that seven million infants die within four weeks of childbirth due to preventable causes, Medical News Today reports.
Kathy Herschderfer, the Secretary General of ICM, told the UNFPA, "Midwives form the bridge between communities and facilities. They transcend the levels of care within health systems, and are essential to the continuum of care during the childbearing cycle."
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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. . . .
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UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .