PSN contributes to APPG maternal morbidity hearings

December 9, 2008


PSN has contributed to parliamentary hearings on maternal morbidity being undertaken by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Population, Development and Reproductive Health. 

Credit: UN Photo/Victoria Hazou


Maternal morbidity: common yet overlooked

Maternal morbidity refers to illness and injuries related to pregnancy and childbirth. While maternal morbidity leaves 10 - 20 million women and girls every year with long-term physical, psychological, social and economic problems, many conditions and complications are treatable and preventable.

For this reason, in July 2008 the APPG on Population, Development and Reproductive Health launched an inquiry to increase understanding of this injustice, and to promote action to address this common yet overlooked health issue.

The hearings

In September PSN and roughly fifty other individuals and organisations responded to the APPG's call for evidence and submitted written evidence to the hearings. On 8 December PSN’s Karen Newman also provided oral testimony to the hearings at Westminster.

PSN’s input to the hearings argued that the high incidence of preventable maternal morbidity in developing countries must be viewed as a violation of women’s rights, and focused on the opportunities that exist to significantly reduce maternal mortality by increasing access to voluntary family planning programmes.

UPDATE May 2009

The APPG’s report of the maternal morbidity hearings Better off Dead? has been published and is available here.