For the first time in decades, researchers are reporting a significant
drop worldwide in the number of women dying each year from pregnancy and childbirth, to about 342,900 in 2008 from 526,300 in 1980.
This is awesome news. Anybody who has experienced childbirth knows how close we skate with death, even in our modern, shiny hospitals. There's no question that I would have died ten years ago, if I had been anywhere in a third world country.
Even though this news is so fantastic, there is still politics that revolve around it.
“People who have spent many years committed to the issue of maternal
health were understandably worried that these figures could divert
attention from an issue that they care passionately about,” Dr. Horton
said. “But my feeling is that they are misguided in their view that
this would be damaging. My view is that actually these numbers help
their cause, not hinder it.”