Concerns Arise over Maternal Mortality in Afghanistan
Politicians, economists and activists gathered at the Bonn Conference in early December expressed concerns regarding the impact of the withdrawal of th US on maternal mortality. Sarah Pickworth, a public health specialist in Afghanistan stated, "The greatest risk at present is through aid levels dropping off precipitously. Without sufficient funding, there is likely to be a significantly slower pace of change. This risks losing the momentum of the tremendous gains made." By 2014, Afghanistan will face a $7 billion deficit, which could negatively impact the availability of services for pregnant women and infants.
According to Reuters, Herat's Institute of Health Sciences (HIS) has trained over 250 midwives since 2005. Moreover, over the past five years, maternal and infant mortality has declined dramatically in Afghanistan. According to the research, there are "500 deaths per 100,000 live births," as compared to 2005 when 1,800 women died per every 100,000 births, according to a UN study.
The Afghanistan Mortality Survey (AMS) 2010, sponsored by UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the US Government, and the British Department for International Development, notes that "Afghanistan remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a pregnant woman or a young child," with one out of every ten children dying before reaching their fifth birthday. Moreover, Afghan women are 200 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than from bombings or bullets.
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 12/14/11; Reuters 12/12/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/5/11
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. . . .