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More than two women die every day in the USA from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Approximately half of these deaths could be prevented if maternal health care were available, accessible and of good quality for all women in the USA.
A safe pregnancy is a human right for every woman regardless of race or income. Amnesty International has Called on The Secretary of Health and Human Services to create an Office of Maternal Health.
The USA spends more than any other country on health care, and more on maternal health than any other type of hospital care. Despite this, women in the USA have a higher risk of dying of pregnancy-related complications than those in 40 other countries. For example, the likelihood of a woman dying in childbirth in the USA is five times greater than in Greece, four times greater than in Germany, and three times greater than in Spain. Afull report is published in Amnesty International’s DeadlyDelivery.
African-American women are nearly four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women. These rates and disparities have not improved in more than 20 years.
Maternal deaths are only the tip of the iceberg. During 2004 and 2005, more than 68,000 women nearly died in childbirth in the USA. Each year, 1.7 million women suffer a complication that has an adverse effect on their health.
Amnesty International, in conjunction with the World Health Organization is calling on the United States to actively work to improve access to safe maternity care for all women in the United States in an effort to lower the maternal mortality rate and to improve the health of mothers and babies in the United States.