AAPLOG President, Donna Harrison, spoke Wednesday Sept 15 at a member briefing of the United Nations on the subject of maternal mortality. Also presenting were Dr. Elard Koch, Dr. Obilumani Ideh, and Dr. Robert Walley. The topic was a rational approach to decreasing maternal mortality worldwide. Dr. Harrison spoke about the recent Lancet study by Hogan et. al. which demonstrated clearly that maternal mortality has declined significantly since l990, without worldwide legalization of abortion. And in fact, the decline would have been even greater if not for the maternal mortality caused by the HIV epidemic. Dr. Harrison also commented on the faulty WHO definitions of “safe” and “unsafe” abortion, which are legal definitions,and not medical definitions. WHO defines “unsafe” abortions as abortions done in countries where abortion is illegal. WHO defines “safe” abortions as abortions which meet legal (not medical) requirements in countries where abortion is legal. Using WHO definitions, two countries with identical maternal mortality (for example, a thousand deaths caused by misoprostol abortions) would report their identical mortality differently: Country “A” where abortion is not legal would be counted as having a thousand “unsafe” abortion deaths. Country “B” where abortion is legal would be counted as having ZERO unsafe abortion deaths. This dishonesty in WHO definitions allows UN funding agencies to pressure countries into legalizing abortion, under the guise of reducing maternal mortality. The entire presentation by Dr. Harrison, and the presentations from the other presenters are available on the CFAM website. For Dr. Harrison’s presentation, see http://www.c-fam.org/publications/id.1160/pub_detail.asp For related articles, see http://www.c-fam.org/search/default.asp?q=maternal+mortality&x=0&y=0 And extremely valuable article by Chilean researcher Dr. Elard Koch on maternal mortality in Chiie, including AFTER abortion was declared illegal in late the l980’s, is found at: http://www.c-fam.org/publications/pub_detail.asp?id=1571 AAPLOG