Maternal mortality is a human rights issue, delegates insist

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 25 October 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:845
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

    Maternal mortality must be recognised as a human rights issue, demanded delegates at the Women Deliver conference in London last week.

    A new international initiative on maternal mortality and human rights—a collaboration of organisations advocating safe motherhood and human rights—was launched at the conference to focus attention on women and their human right to safe pregnancy and childbirth.

    “The scale of avoidable maternal mortality is a human rights catastrophe,” said Lynn Freedman, director of the averting maternal death and disability programme at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, which is behind the initiative.

    She said, “There are over 500 000 maternal deaths worldwide each year that are largely avoidable. In most cases these amount to violations of women's rights to life, health, non-discrimination, and equality.”

    At the conference, …

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