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Irish Law, “Conscience Clauses,” and Needless Death: Three Questions About Savita Halappanavar’s Death

University College Hospital, Galway. Photo: Thejournal.ie.

Numerous questions have arisen in the wake of Savita’s case. Why did this happen? Doesn’t Ireland, a country with otherwise draconian abortion laws, allow abortion to save the life of the mother? Was there any doubt an abortion was necessary to save Savita’s life? Can this happen in the United States? And here are my answers.

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Lack of Contraceptive Access: The Public Health Emergency in Eastern Burma

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A report released today details how the public health emergency in eastern Burma continues to undermine the health and well being of millions of people affected by decades of war. Women in eastern Burma face the worst pregnancy outcomes anywhere in Asia, and access to contraception is virtually nonexistent. 

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Increased Investment in Midwifery Services Can Save 3.6 Million Lives Annually

Thirty-eight of 58 countries surveyed may fail to meet their target of 95 percent coverage by skilled attendants by 2015 unless an additional 120,000 midwives are trained, deployed and retained. A new report also indicates that upgrading midwifery services could save more than 3.6 million lives each year by 2015.

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GOP Salivates at Prospect of Cutting Funds for World’s Poorest Women

The Republican/Tea Party majorities in the House of Representatives are, literally, salivating at the prospect of cutting aid to the world’s poorest women.

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Supporting Mothers Is Sound Foreign Policy

When mothers around the world are supported – by ensuring they have access to family planning – families, communities, and nations flourish.

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Drawing Attention to Poor Maternal Health Outcomes in the U.S.

I am concerned about the lack of coverage for the daily violation of women’s rights that occurs on the labor and delivery unit.

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The Architecture of Maternal Death

The architectural design of two newly built public maternity hospitals in Malawi, which has one of the world’s highest rates of women dying in childbirth, seeks to respect the human rights of birthing women and has had a significant impact on Malawi’s maternal health care system.  Ill-designed government-run maternal health centers litter many poor countries and contribute to unacceptably high maternal death rates. There’s a pressing global need to design public maternity units that uphold the dignity of socially disadvantaged women.

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A ‘Community Engagement’ Approach to Treating Fistula in Guinea

Citizen volunteers are at the front lines of a community-driven initiative for saving lives and preserving health for women in Kissidougou.

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Rachel’s Sabbath and the Far Right’s Attack on Women

Rachel Sabbath honors the biblical matriarch who died in childbirth. As Rachel Sabbath approaches, a rabbi underscores the moral and human dimensions of reproductive health and rights, and urges every one of us to act.

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“Protect Life Act” Does Not Protect Women’s Lives

Republican supporters of this bill and their witnesses repeatedly asserted in the hearing that abortion is never necessary to save a woman’s life.  That is simply not true.

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