In Afghanistan, women have an average life expectancy of 45 and approximately 1 out of every 11 (which was 1 out of 8) women dies during childbirth. Moreover, Afghan women are 200 more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than from bombings or bullets. Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, stated, "Thirty years of war in Afghanistan has destroyed the health care system. Plus there is an acute shortage of clear water and sanitation and adequate nutrition in Afghanistan."
Mary Beth Powers, chief of Save the Children's Newborn and Child Survival Campaign, stated, "In many countries, vaccines, antibiotics, and care during pregnancy are hard to reach and as a result child and maternal death rates are very high. This Mother's Day, world leaders should honor mothers everywhere by ensuring they can celebrate what they want most- healthy children. That means helping all families, moms and babies be within reach of a trained health worker."
The United States placed 31st out of the 44 industrialized countries that were rated, primarily due to its higher maternal and infant mortality and morbidity rate in its highly populated inner city areas. According to the report, women in the US are 7 times more likely to die during childbirth, especially women of color, than women in Italy or Ireland. In addition, 8 out of every 1,000 children born in the US die before reaching age 5. Current maternity leave in Europe, which is paid, far surpasses the Family and Medical Leave Act in the US, which only provides for 12 weeks of unpaid leave.
Media Resources: Champions for Children: Why Investing in Maternal and Child Health in Developing Countries is Good for America 5/3/11; Associated Press 5/3/11; National Partnership for Women and Families Fact Sheet; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/9/10
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .