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'Women Deliver' Fails to Deliver

Conference on maternal and child health focuses on abortion

Contact: Valerie Mosher, Concerned Women for America, 202-488-7000 ext. 125

WASHINGTON, October 16 /Christian Newswire/ -- An international conference to direct policies on maternal and child health gives scant attention to the top causes of maternal and child deaths while focusing 35 out of 98 of its sessions on abortion rights.  Pro-family leaders from Europe and North America will attend the Women Deliver conference in London on October 18-20 to spotlight the real needs of women and children and report on the conference's distortions.  They will be available for media during the conference.

"Considering the conference's obsession with abortion, policymakers should not rely on advice from Women Deliver," noted Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA).  "If the conference truly focused on maternal and child health, it would tackle the leading maternal and child health needs as more than trivial additions."

"The best way to reduce maternal and child deaths is with skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetrics.  Yet skilled birth attendants is addressed in only 6 sessions, emergency obstetrics in one," stated Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. "Post-natal or peri-natal care, fistula, female genital mutilation, newborn health, violence against women, cancer, malaria, and failing health systems get three or fewer sessions each.  The handful of panels on HIV/AIDS focuses on rights, not treatment.  No sessions address primary child health issues such as vaccine availability, clean water, sanitation, basic nutritional supplementation such as prenatal and children's vitamins, or the training of village health workers in spotting or combating protein calorie malnutrition."

Lola Velarde, President of the Institute for Family Policy EU, stated "The medical journal Lancet reported recently on the 100 million missing girls lost to sex selection abortions and female infanticide.  Not one session at Women Deliver tackles this leading cause of death of girls.  Lancet's special theme issue for Women Deliver appears to neglect its own revelations on girl-child deaths."

"We cannot reduce maternal and child deaths if policymakers rely on inaccurate information," said Laura Knaperek, Executive Director of United Families International.

"The U.S. experience shows that abortion is not safe, especially chemical abortion, which fails at least 10 percent of the time, requiring surgical abortion.  Surgical abortion increases the risk of dangerous early birth in later pregnancies, infections and other complications," said Donna Harrison, M.D., President-elect of the American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

These and other experts will be available for comment to the media.

Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.