Magazine article New Internationalist

The Pain of Childbirth

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Pain of Childbirth

Article excerpt

For every woman who dies of maternal causes in developed countries, 99 die in the developing world. Over 525,000 women annually die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth - and maternal deaths are second only to deaths from aids. As James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, says: 'I do not believe for one minute that if men were dying in their prime in these numbers so little would be being done.' A number of factors, including early marriage and lack of health funding, contribute towards this immense social injustice. In addition, access to safe, legal abortion and advice has been threatened by the 'gag' rule, which applies to organizations that receive aid funds from the US for family planning. Recipients of US funds are required to refrain from advocating changes in abortion laws, or - except in limited circumstances - providing abortion information, counselling or services, even with their own funds. …

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