MaterCare Australia’s statement on U.S. maternal health care crisis


August 13, 2015


Two recent media releases have sounded alarm bells about the current state of women’s healthcare in the USA. The first is that maternal mortality is on the rise, and the second concerns the sale of aborted babies and their body parts by the government-funded abortion provider Planned Parenthood (PPFA). These two issues are interrelated, and linked to how healthcare resources are allocated. They beg the question, ‘What does success in maternal health care entail?’

The US is only one of 17 countries worldwide where more women are now dying in childbirth than in prior decades. Whilst there are many potential reasons for the rising death rate, the underlying problem is that there are less resources available to carry mothers safely to term and to care for their newborns.

This summer, six videos were released to the media which caught Planned Parenthood (PPFA) officials discussing the sale of aborted babies. Reference was made to selling body parts and whole (intact) babies, and the fifth video showed the dissection of a 20 week twin baby for body parts. All 6 videos contain grotesque details of Planned Parenthood’s current unethical and illegal practices in the United States. The response of American politicians has varied according to their personal view on the abortion issue. Notably, President Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have defended Planned Parenthood. However, even Clinton described the videos as ‘disturbing’.


MaterCare’s view is that successful maternal healthcare provides women with the freedom to have their children safely, through access to appropriate resources, support, and care both during and after pregnancy. To achieve this, the resources available for maternal health care need to be diverted away from services helping women end their pregnancies toward those helping them carry safely to term and care for their children after birth.


All people of goodwill have two complementary duties in regards to dealing with this crisis. The first is to demand the defunding of PPFA, and similar and associated organizations which treat baby humans as a dispensable and saleable commodity. The second is to demand an increase in funding for comprehensive maternal health care which not only reduces maternal mortality, but cares for the whole person and the community beyond. Comprehensive maternal health care educates fathers, involves community elders, and provides pre and postnatal care, nutritional information, medicine, transportation, midwives and doctors, and support for breastfeeding.


The USA is experiencing a negative trend in maternal healthcare. This  can only be reversed by simultaneously defunding PPFA and related organisations and refunding comprehensive maternal health care programmes which aim to reduce maternal mortality by caring for the whole person and their community.


Dr Elvis I Šeman


Chair, MaterCare Australia

Head of Urogynaecology,

Flinders Medical Centre

Bedford Park, SA 5042

Senior Lecturer (honorary)

Flinders University

South Australia

Dr Robert Walley

Executive Director, MaterCare International

MaterCare International

8 Riverview Avenue

St John’s, NL A1C 2S5


Ph: 1-709-579-6472

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