It's a favorite ploy of abortion advocates to lament high rates of maternal death in poorer countries -- and propose widespread cheap legal abortion as the solution.
Aside from the fact that the women in question might not actually want abortions -- Fancy that! -- is the fact that widespread cheap legal abortion does absolutely diddly-squat to address the causes of maternal mortality.
According Dr. Elard Koch, an epidemiologist on the faculty of medicine at the University of Chile, Chile's promotion of "safe pregnancy" measures such as "prenatal detection" and accessibility to professional birth attendants in a hospital setting are primarily responsible for the decrease in maternal mortality. The maternal mortality rate declined from 275 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 1960 to 18.7 deaths in 2000, the largest reduction in any Latin country.
Because Chile is a nation that protects unborn life in its penal laws and constitution, the decline is therefore not attributable to access to legal abortion. In fact, the preliminary study shows, maternal mortality in Chile declined over the last century regardless of whether abortion was legal or illegal. Chile tightened its restrictions on abortion in the late 1980s.
Likewise, maternal mortality plummeted in the United States long before the introduction of legalized abortion.
For more information on how abortion advocates repeatedly claim that it's their pet cause that reduces maternal mortality, rather than the hard work of decent, innocent people, see:
I'll make it clear here by posting maternal mortality in the US over the 20th Century, with a vertical line at Roe vs. Wade, so we can see the clear, unmistakable, undeniable, staggering and spectacular impact ready access to safe, legal abortion had on maternal mortality:
For those of you with a faulty sarcasm detector: Roe didn't even amount to a blip on the line.
For those of you who get your information from abortion lobby "fact sheets" this might come as a bit of a shock. You're accustomed to being told things like: "The legalization of induced abortion beginning in the 1960s contributed to an 89% decline in deaths from septic illegal abortions (15) during 1950-1973." (Courtesy, in this case, of the Centers for Disease Control -- for those of you who had any doubts as to their abortion-praising agenda.)
But if legalized abortion had a great impact in reducing maternal mortality, it somehow magically did it retroactively.
The way to prevent maternal deaths is to ensure that children grown up well-fed and healthy in a clean, safe environment, and that women have access to good overall health care and specifically good prenatal care.
Who woulda thunk it?