Heather Lasher is a Campaigner with Amnesty International USA's Demand Dignity Campaign, which fights the human rights violations that are both a cause and a consequence of poverty. Her work currently focuses on maternal health, and on the human rights violations caused and/or perpetuated by corporations.
Prior to joining Amnesty, she interned at Legal Momentum and worked on various research projects with the Quaker United Nations Office and other organizations on poverty and development, domestic violence, and reproductive rights. She holds an MA in Womenís Studies and a JD, with a concentration in International Human Rights, from the University of Cincinnati.
Author RSS Feed
By Aquib Yacoob, Student Area Coordinator for New York
Last Monday afternoon, I joined my fellow students from Townsend Harris High School’s Amnesty International chapter, lining the steps of the Queens Library Flushing Branch in silent protest of the use of torture by the US government and standing in solidarity with torture survivor, Maher Arar.
Most maternal deaths are entirely preventable. Yet, while the world is making progress in fighting maternal mortality, far too many women are still losing their lives.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the most prominent global anti-poverty initiative ever undertaken. The goals set out targets for alleviating extreme poverty, including reducing maternal deaths by 75% (MDG5), by 2015. However, even this modest target will not be met by the deadline unless efforts are significantly stepped up.
Meeting the maternal mortality target, for example, would require a 5.5% annual reduction in maternal deaths since 1990, and the world has seen only 2.3% annual improvement. A woman still dies from complications of pregnancy or childbirth every 90 seconds.
A woman holds a photograph of Tatia Oden French, who died in 2001 after an induced labor.
This year, Mom won’t be the only person receiving a Mother’s Day card.
Giving birth in the United States is more dangerous than in 49 other countries. In the last 24 hours, around the world, almost 1,000 women have died from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Maternal health is a human right — and there’s no better time than Mother’s Day to let Congress and other leaders around the world know that you care about the lives of women worldwide.
Join the fight for maternal health by requesting Mother’s Day action cards to send to U.S. and world decision-makers. Let us know how many cards you’d like by registering online (they come in sets of six).
These Mother’s Day cards aren’t destined for the shoebox or the refrigerator. Send them back to us and we’ll take them straight to your Members of Congress, urging them to support the Maternal Health Accountability Act, which would take vital steps to improve maternal health in the U.S. We’ll send other cards to leaders in Peru and Burkina Faso, urging them to improve their countries’ troubling maternal health records.