According to the United Nations, a woman’s chance of dying in childbirth in the United States is 1 in 4,800. In Ireland, which has the best rate in the world, it is 1 in 48,000. In Sierra Leone, it is 1 in 8.
Fatmata Jalloh’s body lay on a rusting metal gurney in a damp hospital ward, a scrap of paper with her name and “R.I.P.” taped to her stomach. In the soft light of a single candle — the power was out again in one of Africa’s poorest cities — Jalloh looked like a sleeping teenager. Dead just 15 minutes, the 18-year-old’s face was round and serene, with freckles around her closed eyes and her full lips frozen in a sad pucker. …
More than 500,000 women a year — about one every minute — die in childbirth across the globe, almost exclusively in the developing world, and almost always from causes preventable with basic medical care. The planet’s worst rates are in this startlingly poor nation on West Africa’s Atlantic coast, where a decade of civil war that ended in 2002 deepened chronic deprivation.
The women die from bleeding, infection, obstructed labor and preeclampsia or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure. But often the underlying cause is simply life in poor countries: Governments don’t provide enough decent hospitals or doctors; families can’t afford medications.
More recent figures on maternal mortality are available in the World Economic Forum's recently released Global Gender Gap Report which measures the size of the gender inequality gap in four critical areas:
1) Economic participation and opportunity – outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment
2) Educational attainment – outcomes on access to basic and higher level education
3) Political empowerment – outcomes on representation in decision-making structures
4) Health and survival – outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio.
Antonia Zerbisias scrutinizes the Catholic Family and Fetal Rights Institute's distortion of the World Economic Forum report and exposes C-FAM's twisted logic and fallacious premise here. She does an excellent job of deconstructing the Institute's partial fact selection about medical care provided to women of child-bearing age, its use of false equivalency and its MASSIVE obfuscations and lies.
She demonstrates how The Fetus©™ fetishists do not value the lives of those they view only as Gestational Support Units, better known to non-zealots as women who are mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, friends and lovers.