Help Prevent Women From Dying During Childbirth
Today we're blowing the lid off the shameful way that many pregnant women are treated in the United States.
We've released an unflinching report that details the disgraceful facts, tragic stories and poor policies behind maternal death rates among American women. The results show this country ranks 41st in the world for risk of dying from pregnancy-related complications.
It's not just the low ranking that concerns me; it's that in a country that spends far more on health care than any other country in the world - and more on pregnancy and childbirth hospitalization costs than any other area of medicine - at least half of these deaths could have been prevented!
It comes down to a few key areas where a woman's right to a safe childbirth is neglected:
Women aren't receiving enough information about the signs of complications and the risks of medical interventions, such as inducing labor or c-sections.
Unlike in other countries, most women in the U.S. do not receive home visits following childbirth, even though more than half of all maternal deaths occur within 42 days of giving birth.
The cost for maternal care is just too high for many women to pay and many women find that they cannot obtain insurance after becoming pregnant.
Far too many barriers are preventing pregnant women from getting proper care before, during and after their delivery.
African American women are four times as likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth than white women. Disparities have not improved in more than 20 years.
Few systems are in place to analyze existing problems and propose possible solutions to improve maternal health standards.
Here are 2 things we can do right now to combat preventable maternal deaths:
Urge the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve timely access to quality maternal care. As the principal agency for protecting health in this country, this department must be at the heart of efforts to change the system. We are asking Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of this department, to work with President Obama in setting up an Office of Maternal Health within HHS dedicated to providing the much-needed oversight for preventing, recognizing and responding to the leading complications that cause pregnancy-related deaths.
Volunteer to meet with Senators and Representatives in your local district to inform them about this tragedy. Amnesty supporters will be spreading the word to elected officials March 29 - April 9th and engaging them to prevent maternal deaths. We will train you and give you the support you need to educate and enlist your representatives in the effort to reduce maternal deaths.
The more I learn about the women and families whose lives have been affected by this devastating crisis, the more convinced I am that we must do something about it.
Help us protect women's health. Help us deliver the message that maternal health is a human right.
Source; Amnesty International