Maternal Mortality: Appalling Lack of Progress Globally and in the US
In advance of the upcoming Women Deliver conference in London, a report released Friday shows that worldwide maternal mortality rates have been declining at a rate of less than one percent a year. The report, Maternal Mortality in 2005, jointly published by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank, points to the need for improved health care for women, including the prevention of unplanned pregnancies and unsafe abortions, and access to high-quality pregnancy and delivery care, in order to reduce the number of women dying from maternal causes. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Shockingly, the United States ranks 41st among 171 countries in woman�s lifetime risk of maternal death. One in 4,800 women in the US die each year as a result of pregnancy related complications, much higher than other developed countries. In Germany, for example, the annual rate of maternal death is one in 19,200 and in Greece one in 25,900. Afghan women continue to be among those with the highest number of maternal deaths, with one in 8 women dying annually, reports the Kansas City Star.
The three-day Women Deliver conference, which begins October 18th, will involve political and health leaders from around the world and will focus on the critical connection between women�s health, rights, education, and poverty reduction. It will spotlight how the estimated 536,000 annual maternal deaths�which are overwhelmingly (99 percent) concentrated in the developing world�are not only preventable but have an extraordinary negative impact on the social and economic well-being of nations.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .