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NRL News
Page 5
April/May 2010
Volume 37
Issue 4-5

Sharp Worldwide Drop in Maternal Deaths
Puts Pro-Abortionists on the Defensive

By Dave Andrusko

A study published in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet has documented a significant reduction in the worldwide maternal mortality rate. In an editorial that accompanied the study demonstrating a 35% reduction, The Lancet’s editor, Richard Horton, wrote, “The overall message, for the first time in a generation, is one of persistent and welcome progress.”

Adding to the welcomed news from “Maternal mortality for 181 countries, 1980–2008: a systematic analysis of progress towards Millennium Development Goal 5” is that the explanation for the decline flies in the face of the mantra pro-abortionists have promoted for decades: the need for more and more and more abortion. Noteworthy is that the word “abortion” does not appear even once.

Deaths of women during childbirth dropped by a startling 35% from 1980 to 2008, from more than half a million yearly to 343,000,” writes the Los Angeles Times’ Thomas Maugh. “The new report, by researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Queensland in Australia, is startling because most previous studies, including a United Nations report released only two years ago, have indicated that the rate has remained fairly steady at about half a million, with only modest improvements in some areas.

But the new report by Dr. Christopher Murray of Washington and his colleagues suggests that the rate has been dropping by an average of about 1.4% per year since 1980,” Maugh continues. “If they are correct, that is very good news because it means that countries are making a concerted effort to reduce maternal deaths.”

We have been told for decades that it is the absence of the “right” to abortion that drives maternal mortality. The report begs to differ.

The study cited a number of reasons for the improvement: lower pregnancy rates in some countries; higher income, which improves nutrition and access to health care; more education for women; and the increasing availability of ‘skilled attendants’—people with some medical training—to help women give birth. Improvements in large countries like India and China helped to drive down the overall death rates,” according to Denise Grady of the New York Times.

Pro-abortionists clearly understood the potential damage to their expansionary plans. Horton told the Associated Press (AP), “Even before the paper by Hogan et al was submitted to us, we were invited to ‘delay’ or ‘withhold’ publication.” He added, “Activists perceive a lower maternal mortality figure as actually diluting their message,” noting, “Advocacy can sometimes get in the way of science.”

Added Grady, “Dr. Horton said the advocates, whom he declined to name, wanted the new information held and released only after certain meetings about maternal and child health had already taken place.” Those meetings include a UN-hosted gathering of public health experts and heads of state on maternal and child health this week and another in Washington in June.

A rival report also came out Tuesday from the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, “a global alliance hosted by the World Health Organization, [which] claimed progress in maternal health has ‘lagged,’” the AP reported. “According to their ‘detailed analysis,’ from 350,000 to 500,000 women still die in childbirth every year.”

But the AP’s Maria Cheng coolly noted, “The authors did not explain where their data came from or what kind of analysis was used to obtain that wide range of figures.” She added, “In that report, U.N. officials also claimed they need $20 billion every year between 2011 and 2015 to save women and children in developing countries.”