A UN report (PDF) released last week shows that worldwide maternal deaths declined by 47 percent from 1990 to 2010. In 1990, there were 543,000 maternal deaths and that number dropped to 287,000 in 2010. The report found that 99 percent of maternal deaths occurred in developing countries and one third of all maternal deaths occurred in India and Nigeria. It also states that most of maternal deaths were preventable.
Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the UN Population Fund said "I am very pleased to see that the number of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth continues to decline. This shows that the enhanced effort of countries, supported by UNFPA and other development partners, is paying off. But we can't stop there. Our work must continue to make every pregnancy wanted and every childbirth safe."
The report defines maternal death as death "occurring during pregnancy or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes." The study was conducted by the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children's Fund, the United Nations Population Fund, and the World Bank.
Media Resources: New York Times 5/16/12; AP 5/16/12; UN News Service 5/16/12
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .