African Women More Likely to Die in Childbirth Than Westerners
A new report reveals that African women are 175 times more likely to die during childbirth than Westerners. These findings, issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), finds that women in sub-Saharan Africa have a 1 in 16 chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth.
The report examines maternal mortality in 2000, finding that 95 percent of the 529,000 total maternal deaths occurred in Africa and Asia. There is "an urgent need for increased access to emergency obstetric care, especially in sub-Saharan Africa," according to the report. The report also calls for family planning education and services of high quality because "more lives could be saved if women had access to voluntary family planning to ensure that births are spaced properly, skilled attendance at delivery, and emergency obstetric care."
UNFPA also recently issued its 2003 State of World Population report, this year focusing on adolescents' health and rights. The report calls for access to reproductive and sexual health information and services appropriate to the age, capacities, and circumstance of adolescent girls so that "adolescents who are sexually active can take necessary measure to protect their health." According to the UNFPA, "women aged 15-19 account for at least one fourth of the estimated 20 million unsafe abortions performed each year." The UNFPA calls for more investments in adolescent reproductive health needs and education and a supportive policy environment because "failing to support young people will have serious consequences at both the individual and societal levels."
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. . . .