We support real and effective solutions to maternal health that focus on education and basic life saving interventions. Abortion is not a solution to the problem of maternal mortality as it destroys human life and harms the health of women.


The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights protects the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, with a specific reference to pregnancy

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women calls on States Parties to provide pre-natal and obstetric care


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights highlights the importance of special care for mothers

The Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development sets forth the goal of significantly reducing maternal mortality by 2015

The Beijing Platform for Action reaffirms the importance of the 2015 maternal mortality goal

Goal 5 of the Millennium Development Goals is to "improve maternal health"

The upcoming Sustainable Development Goals are expected to continue this work


Countries dramatically can improve maternal health by directly tackling the four causes of maternal mortality, which are:

  1. Severe bleeding
  2. Infection
  3. Obstructed labor
  4. High blood pressure during pregnancy

Ireland has banned almost all abortion since 1983, and since then has become an international model of natal care

Chile makes the case for educating women as the key to reducing maternal mortality


  1. Ensure that UN documents accurately reference authentic solutions to maternal mortality
    • Provision of pre and post natal care
    • Increased number of skilled birth attendants
    • Improved health care infrastructure, transportation, and access to birthing facilities
    • Higher levels of education for women
  2. Remove language that links abortion to improving maternal health
    • Some UN Agencies and NGOs consider abortion a cause of maternal mortality. Although women can die due to an abortion, it cannot be considered a cause of maternal mortality because it is an elective procedure and does not explain why women die in childbirth.
    • It is imperative to keep the focus on the four causes that constitute the majority of maternal deaths.
    • Example from a proposed language amendment for the First session of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, Montevideo 12 – 15 August 2013

    "Concerned at the high rates of maternal mortality, due largely to difficulties in obtaining access to proper sexual health and reproductive health services or to unsafe abortions, and aware that some experiences in the region have demonstrated that the penalization of abortion leads to higher rates of maternal mortality and morbidity and does not reduce the number of abortions, and that this holds the region back in its efforts to fulfill the Millennium Development Goals"

    • Proposed insertion:

    "due largely to the lack of skilled birth attendants, adequate parental and post-natal care, and access to sanitary and well-equipped birthing facilities"