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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; California 35th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
Date:3/11/2010

672. Lack of access to health care centers and providers is a problem nationwide, the report found; in California 49 percent of women live in medically underserved areas.  

"No issue can be more central to the health and well-being of our nation than maternal health care," said Jared Feuer, Acting Western Regional Director for Amnesty International USA. "The government should accept its duty and its moral obligation to address this inexcusable crisis by developing a comprehensive plan to ensure quality health care for all pregnant women. If the federal government can address steroid use in baseball, certainly lawmakers can address maternal health, which affects every family in the United States."

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.  


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