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Maternal Mortality Front and Center

Every year, more than half a million women die in pregnancy or childbirth. That's one woman or girl who dies every minute. For every woman who dies during pregnancy, an estimated 30 more suffer from infections, injuries or disabilities. Most of these deaths and injuries are preventable and government inaction to stop them violates women's most fundamental human rights.

The Center has been working tirelessly on various fronts to prompt global action to save women's lives. One of the Center's latest efforts was promoting a landmark resolution, "Preventable Maternal Mortality and Morbidity and Human Rights," that was recently adopted at the 11th session of the Human Rights Council.This is a groundbreaking step towards ensuring every woman's basic human right to a safe and healthy pregnancy and childbirth. The next step is for governments to implement the resolution and take urgent action to prevent women from dying needlessly in pregnancy and childbirth.

The Center has long been a leader in the effort to end maternal mortality. In 2007, in alliance with five other groups, the Center launched the International Initiative on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights. The Center also filed the first maternal mortality case to be brought before the United Nation's Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and has authored numerous reports documenting the human rights violations and barriers that women face when trying to access maternal health care services.

The Center applauds the adoption of the Maternal Mortality resolution, but knows that there's still a lot of work to do. Take a look at some of the Center's latest efforts to end maternal mortality below and then join us on our Facebook Causes page.


Download the complete Resolution >

Download: Combating Maternal Mortality: Why Bring Human Rights into the Picture? >
As part of our efforts for the approval of the resolution the Center hosted, together with other organizations, an event at the HRC featuring an expert panel to discuss maternal mortality and human rights.

IIMMHR

International Initiative on Maternal Mortality

The Center is proud to be a co-founder and host of the International Initiative on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights. Launched at the Women Deliver conference in late 2007, the Initiative is a civil society effort calling for prevention of maternal mortality as a human rights imperative. It combines advocacy, policy work, and other strategies to ensure that governments implement effective and equitable policies and programs to reduce maternal mortality. Read more >

Broken Promises: Human Rights, Accountability, and Maternal Death in Nigeria

Broken Promises: Human Rights, Accountability
and Maternal Death in Nigeria

This groundbreaking report calls on the Nigerian government to make good on its commitment to saving women’s lives by implementing systematic changes to improve maternal health throughout the country. Nigeria has both the policies and the resources to make good maternal healthcare a reality for all women, but due to institutional and structural problems, combined with a lack of political will, Nigerian women are left underserved and often desperate. Read more>

Brazil's Record on Maternal Mortality

Center Challenges Brazil's Record on Maternal Mortality

In 2007, the Center filed Alyne da Silva Pimentel v. Brazil, the first maternal mortality case to be brought before the United Nation's Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Alyne was six months pregnant with her second child and knew her nausea and abdominal pain were not normal. But more than once, healthcare providers in her Brazilian hometown misdiagnosed her symptoms and failed to provide her with timely and adequate care. One week after first seeking care, Alyne delivered a stillborn fetus. She died soon after of entirely preventable causes. A positive decision in this case would advance the fight against maternal mortality not just in Brazil, but around the world. Read more >

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ReproWrites - Maternal Mortality

In Focus: Maternal Mortality
ReproWrites, July/August 2008 - Issue 5

Last summer, the Center dedicated an entire issue of ReproWrites, our online newsletter, to the critical issue of Maternal Mortality. Read five important stories about Maternal Mortality and how the Center is facilitating change at home and abroad.

Download the complete issue >