Navigation Links
New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; District of Columbia is 51st Among All States in Maternal Mortality

50 Percent of Women Live in a Medically Underserved Area

NEW YORK, March 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In releasing a new report on maternal health nationwide, Amnesty International today revealed that flaws and shocking disparities in maternal health care that the government is ignoring lead to two to three women dying daily in the United States from pregnancy-related complications, with half of these deaths believed preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A state-by-state examination shows that the District of Columbia is 51st on a maternal mortality ranking, with 34.9 deaths per 100,000 live births. *


The new Amnesty International report, Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA, also reveals that severe pregnancy-related complications that nearly cause death -- known as "near misses" -- are rising at an alarming rate, increasing by 25 percent since 1998; currently nearly 34,000 women annually experience a "near miss" during delivery. With a lifetime risk of maternal deaths that is greater than in 40 other countries, including virtually all of the industrialized countries, the United States has failed to reverse the two-decade upward trend in preventable maternal deaths, despite pledges to do so.

The report cited numerous causes for the crisis and offers lengthy recommendations on improving maternal health care.

Inadequate prenatal care is cited as a contributing factor in the crisis; women who do not get prenatal care are three to four times more likely to die than women who do. In Washington, DC, almost one in four women (23.2%) receives delayed or no prenatal care. The number rises to 27.9 percent among women of color.

Obstacles to care are widespread: the most obvious being that across the United States nearly 13 million women of reproductive age (15 to 44), or one in five, have no health insurance. In Washington, DC, one in ten women (11.5 percent) is uninsured; among women of color the number of uninsured climbs to 14 percent. The city's Medicaid eligibility level for working parents is $36,396. Lack of access to health care centers and providers is a problem nationwide, the report found; in Washington, DC, 50 percent of women live in medically underserved areas.

"How can this nation ignore a crisis that claims two to three mothers or mothers-to-be per day?" asked Folabi Olagbaju, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for Amnesty International USA. "These findings are a call to conscience and action: federal officials must urgently address the maternal health situation and inequities in this nation. The well-being of United States' communities, families and children depend on decisive, rapid action."

Maternal health is a human right for every woman in the United States, regardless of race or income. Yet, the United States lacks a systematic, robust government response to this critical problem. Amnesty International is urging President Obama to work with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to establish, and seek Congressional funding, for a single office responsible for ensuring that all women receive quality maternal health care. An Office of Maternal Health would lead government action to reduce the soaring pregnancy-related complications and maternal deaths nationwide.

Additionally, Amnesty International calls for vigorous enforcement of federal non-discrimination laws and an increase in support for Federally Qualified Health Centers by 2011 to expand the number of women who can access affordable maternal health care.

"This country's extraordinary record of medical advancement makes its haphazard approach to maternal care all the more scandalous and disgraceful," said Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "Mothers die not because the United States can't provide good care, but because it lacks the political will to make sure good care is available to all women."

Amnesty International's analysis shows that health care reform before Congress does not address the crisis of maternal health care.

"Reform is primarily focused on health care coverage and reducing health care costs, and even optimistic estimates predict that any proposal on the table will still leave millions without access to affordable care," said Rachel Ward, one of the authors of the Deadly Delivery report. "Furthermore, it does not address discrimination, systemic failures and government accountability documented in Amnesty International's report."

Rapid and comprehensive federal leadership is required, as the report found numerous systemic failures, including the following:

  • Burdensome bureaucratic procedures in Medicaid enrollment substantially delay access to vital prenatal care for pregnant women seeking government-funded care. Twenty-one states do not offer "presumptive eligibility" which allows pregnant women to temporarily access medical care while their permanent application for Medicaid is pending. Women who do not receive any prenatal care are three to four times more likely to die than women who do.
  • The number of deaths is significantly understated because there are no federal requirements to report maternal deaths or complications and data collection at the state level is insufficient.
  • Oversight and accountability is lacking. 29 states and the District of Columbia have no maternal death review process at all.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

For more information or to take action, please visit:\deadlydelivery

* National Women's Law Center, National Report Card on Women's Health, Maternal Mortality Rate Table; available at

SOURCE Amnesty International

Back to top
SOURCE Amnesty International
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Maryland is 48th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
2. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Georgia is 50th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
3. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Louisiana is 46th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
4. International Merchant Advisors CEO Mel Roseman to Discuss New Wellness Centers and Medical Marijuana Clinic Acquisitions Program Live on Bill Chippas Show Today, March 11th at 6:20 pm EST
5. "Consciousness" at 9th Annual International Bioethics Forum in Madison, Wisconsin
6. National license for Springer eBooks signed in Germany
7. Yongye International to Present at the 22nd Roth OC Growth Stock Conference
8. National Asbestos Lawyers of Cooney Conway Launches Mesothelioma Portal
9. Critical Recommendations Unveiled to Respond to National Public Health Crisis: Deep-Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism
10. Pelosi Remarks at Photo Opportunity with the National Association of Public Hospitals
11. International Merchant Advisors to Complete Purchase of Medical Marijuana Company Organic Science, Inc.
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/29/2015)... Los Angeles, Ca (PRWEB) , ... November 29, 2015 , ... ... from the American Board of Ophthalmology on November 25th 2015. Peer Certification ... in the field of his specialty. Certification in Ophthalmology is first obtained after the ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... November 29, 2015 , ... Effective immediately, every single IguanaMed scrub ... on Black Friday Target is offering a “Buy One Scrub Set, Get the 2nd ... opportunity to purchase IguanaMed at a discounted price. , IguanaMed’s mission is ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Trying to relax on a couch ... BUDDY. "I conceived of this design due to personal experience with a bad back," ... promotes relaxation and convenience, as well as increases support. It also makes it easier ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an ... recent 2015 American Dental Association meeting in Washington D.C. revolved around the fact that ... patient’s overall health. The talk stressed the link between periodontal disease (more commonly referred ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A team of Swiss doctors has released ... Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the findings on the website. Click here to ... cases of 136 mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy followed by EPP surgery. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment ... to their offering. --> ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ... Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, ... Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ... Surface Marker Testing Market: Supplier Shares, ... their offering.  --> ... the  "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: