maternal health care

In order to try and get the new health care bill to pass the House, Paul Ryan, Mike Pence and Trump decided that they’d take out the need for maternity care, mental health care, and emergency care coverage.

Because we 100% don’t need those things, never ever, right?

It’s also EXTRA terrifying to know that they’re taking these things out because it will cause MORE Republicans to vote ‘yes’ for the reckless shitstorm of a bill.

Quadruple UGHs today.

EDIT:  Here is the GOP talking about whether mammograms and maternity leave are “essential” treatments to be covered by the AHCA.  Love how many women are present for this.


Here’s What Giving Birth Looks Like — In Two Very Different Worlds

Nearly one-fifth of all deaths among women ages 15 to 49 in Tanzania are related to pregnancy and labor. In Sweden the maternal mortality rate is one of the world’s lowest — just four women per 100,000 childbirths.

“I had the feeling Swedish women were acting out more, screaming more, even if they had painkillers.”




Sec. Hillary Clinton Defends Reproductive Rights

Hillary slaying a question about the role of U.S. government supporting access to safe abortion, contraception, maternal health care and education abroad with a vigorous defense of reproductive rights and family planning.

When I think about the suffering that I have seen of women around the world, I have been to hospitals in Brazil where half the women were enthusiastically and joyfully greeting new babies and the other half were fighting for their lives against botched abortions. 

I have been in African countries where 12 and 13 year old girls are bearing children. I have been in Asian countries where the denial of family planning consigns women to a life of oppression and hardship.

So we have a very fundamental disagreement.


United Nations Study Finds U.S. Way Behind In Women’s Rights

The U.S. is just one of seven nations that hasn’t yet ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Iran, Somalia and Sudan are some of the other countries on the list. The UN committee reports, “There is a myth that women already enjoy all these rights and protections under US law. However, there are missing rights and protections such as universal paid maternity leave, accessible reproductive health care and equal opportunity in standing for political election.”


Tell your Representative: Don’t strip protections for people with preexisting conditions!

Republicans think they’ve reached a new health care deal, and it’s bad. They want to let states apply for waivers to allow discrimination against people with preexisting conditions. In those states that apply for the waiver, insurance companies could charge sicker people as much as they want so that only healthy people can afford insurance, and they’d be free to sell plans that don’t cover things like maternity care or mental health care. They want to get this done fast, so we need to call NOW and tell our Representatives to protect affordable coverage for people with preexisting conditions!

Here’s your script: “Hi, my name is [your name] and my zip code is [your zip code]. I’m calling because I’m very concerned about the new health care amendment being discussed, which would let insurers charge people with preexisting conditions unaffordable high premiums. I want Representative So-and-so to vote against any bill that will raise costs for people with pre-existing conditions. Thank you!”

Photo by Andrea Bruce

Twin newborns in MSF’s hospital in Khost, Afghanistan. The postnatal period is the most dangerous time for mothers and babies: 75% of all neonatal deaths and more than 35% of maternal deaths occur during the first week after birth. Read stories from the field about the challenges to providing pre and postnatal care in Because Tomorrow Needs Her:

Midwives talk about the “three delays” that can kill a mother in labor or her baby.The first delay stems from an assumption or hope that they can deliver at home without skilled assistance, so they do not go to a properly resourced medical facility when complications arise. Read more in Because Tomorrow Needs Her:

Photo by Andrea Bruce

Most newborn & maternal deaths happen in the postnatal period.  Much of MSF’s work is devoted to preventing these types of deaths.  Read about how MSF cares for women and babies by offering pre and postnatal care in Chapter 2 of Because Tomorrow Needs Her:

Photo by Lynsey Addario/VII

“As I was finishing my shift at 7 a.m., the ambulance rolled in with a 17-year-old pregnant girl in a coma…” Betty Raney, an MSF OBGYN, spent 6 months working in Sierra Leone. Read the latest excerpts from her journal:

Bernie Sanders was recently told by a Republic presidential candidate that “I think Bernie Sanders is a great candidate for president — of Norway”. Apart from the fact that Norway is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a prime minister - and not a president - it is the world´s best country to live in, according to the UN. 12 years in a row. A presidential candidate actually used the most successful economic and social policy in the world, the Nordic social democracy - with the highest scoring country on the Gender Equality Index, free higher (and lower) education, paid paternity and maternity leave, free health care and with some of the lowest crime rates in the world, as an insult

Mother’s Day was first advocated for to promote sanitation to help decrease the rates of infant mortality. It’s been used time and time again to help improve the lives of families in general and mothers in particular. 

What are some of the issues that we can advocate for in celebration of Mother’s Day? Here are the ones I can think of.

  • Family Planning
  • Right to Choose
  • Improving Maternity rights like Maternity/Paternity leave
  • Health Care for pregnant people
  • Birthing options
  • Adoption Rights and Regulations
  • Health Care for low income families
  • Health Care for children
  • Public Education
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty
  • The rights of LGBT+ families
  • The rights of disabled families
  • The rights of polyamorous families
  • The rights of non-traditional family structures
  • Marriage and Cohabitation rights
  • Meals for low income families and food scarcity
  • Immigration Reform
  • Rights for Transgender and Non Binary parents
  • Rights for Indigenous Parents and Families
  • Abolishing racist family images and media
  • Rights for working parents
  • Ending Abuse
  • Support for victims of abuse
  • Support for young parents
  • Infertility and fertility rights
  • Rights for Children
  • Sex Education
  • Rights for those dealing with death

What are some other issues that affect families and mothers? What issue is important to you and why?

April 11, 2016: International Day for Maternal Health and Rights

Pregnant teens wait to be seen at the Tan Ux’il adolecent clinic in Petén, Guatemala, a partner of Planned Parenthood Global. 

Did you know that Latin America is the only region in the world where births among girls under 15 years old is on the rise? And nearly 90% of pregnancies in girls under 14 years old are the result of rape. Forcing a girl to carry a pregnancy to term puts her at risk for severe physical and mental health complications, and even death. 

Access to safe and comprehensive maternal health care, including safe abortion, is a human right. That’s why Planned Parenthood Global is proud to join global health activists from around the world in recognizing today, April 11, as the International Day for Maternal Health and Rights. Today especially, the maternal health of some of the most marginalized communities around the world must be front and center. 

Learn more about Stolen Lives, a research project to document the physical and mental health effects of forced motherhood on girls 9-14 years old in Guatemala, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Peru.