India: Take Action on Safe Motherhood Day

April 11 is National Safe Motherhood Day in India.  On this day, the Center for Reproductive Rights calls on India to take urgent measures to reduce the country’s staggering number of maternal deaths and injuries.  

Over 100,000 women die from pregnancy-related causes each year in India.  For every woman who dies, some 30-50 women develop pregnancy-related complications and disabilities.  Almost all these deaths and injuries could be easily prevented.  

Child marriage, malnutrition, unsafe abortion, and inadequate family planning services all continue to fuel the crisis and reveal widespread gender inequality.  This is why health reforms are not enough.  

Solutions must derive from a recognition of—and commitment to—a woman's fundamental human right to health, non-discrimination, equality, and life.  This response is already called for by international treaties and agreements, including the International Conference on Population and Development.

Together with the Human Rights Law Network and health advocates, the Center is seeking to hold the government accountable for maternal mortality through litigation in state high courts in India, including in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Bihar.