Studies – RU486 / Chemical Abortion / Maternal Mortality

MaterCare International will Construct Maternity Hospital in Rural Isiolo Kenya (2013)

MaterCare International in partnership with … Kenya started Project Isiolo: a Comprehensive Rural Obstetrical Services and Training Program in February 2009 with a ground breaking ceremony and blessing. Kenya has one of the highest maternal mortality and morbidity rates in Africa. There are virtually no obstetricians, nurses, or midwives serving this vast central and northern region of Kenya where mortality rates are even higher. The purpose of the project is to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. MaterCare International will construct a maternity hospital in Isiolo. [Matercare.org]   Editorial While returning from the MaterCare Maternity Clinic in remote Merti in central Kenya, we experienced first hand what mothers in the developing world suffer when the transfer of a high risk pregnancy is obstructed – fear, vulnerability, frustration, anxiety & desperation. Maternal transfer can be delayed by birth attendants failing to recognize a high risk situation, poor communication, poor transportation, poor roads, or that help is simply too far away. Our ‘obstruction’ was an impassable, muddy road which, on the same day, tragically resulted in a mother losing her baby- in the developed world this was a preventable intrapartum foetal death. It therefore may come as little surprise that the maternal mortality in the same district of Isiolo exceeds 1:20! In my home city of Adelaide, South Australia the rate is 1:14,000- an enormous disparity. It’s definitely time to do something about this- thank God for organisations like MaterCare International whose rural obstetrical model of care will have such an positive impact on motherhood in Kenya. Dr Elvis Šeman MBBS, EUCOGE, FRANZCOG, FRCOG (Original source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/10442465444/in/set-72157636873420306) [31 October 2013, http://matercare-international.blogspot.com/2013_10_01_archive.html...

How Malawi is Decreasing Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) Through Good Design (2013)

Pregnancy is supposed to be about life. And yet, every day, 800 women across the globe die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. In Malawi, which has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world, a shocking 1 in 36 pregnant women die rather than become proud mothers. But could this oversized problem be tackled through design? Malawi’s new president, Joyce Banda, certainly believes so. More and more, global health experts are teaming up with designers to tackle daunting challenges like food scarcity, water contamination and, yes, maternal mortality — be they environmental, product, or systems design challenges. Using what IDEO.org calls “human-centered design” — essentially putting the user at the center of a deeply iterative process — some of the most cutting-edge thinkers in public health are seeing old problems in new ways. Design is no longer just a tool of the global elite; it’s increasingly becoming a lever for the poorest, most vulnerable people in the world. Two activists with a deep-seated interest in how design can transform lives, we spent the first two weeks of the year doing fieldwork in Malawi. Despite the fact that it is considered one of the world’s least-developed countries, leaders in Malawi are looking to dignifying design. Banda, who came into office in April after her predecessor passed away, has pledged her precious time in office to emulating places like Rwanda, where human-centered design has improved the lot of many rural poor. Banda faces her first official election on May 19, 2014, giving added urgency to her efforts. Banda is the second female president in Africa, following...

Repeated Mifepristone Abortion Affects Subsequent Pregnancy Outcomes in BALB/c Mice (2012)

This 2012 MOUSE study from China shows that chemical abortion mifepristone (RU-486) adversely affects the female reproductive system. Overall, mice that experienced 2 previous medical/chemical abortions had spontaneous abortions (‘miscarriages’) in subsequent pregnancies; repeated medical/chemical abortion affected the expression of metabolic genes in the livers of living offspring; abortion decreased sperm motility in the first generation male offspring; and finally, medical/chemical abortion caused reduced reproductive capacity, caused placental dysfunction, and reduced the expression of protein-making genes needed in pregnancy metabolism. It should be noted that no spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) were observed in the control groups of mice.   http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0048384&representation=PDF Abstract Aim: In this study, we aimed to establish a mouse model of repeated medical termination of pregnancy in order to determine subsequent outcomes. Methods: A model of mifepristone (RU 486)-induced medical abortion was established in BALB/c mice to facilitate the investigation of the impact of medical abortion on subsequent pregnancies, including litter sizes and newborn birth weights. Pregnant mice were sacrificed to… – examine midterm pregnancy status, investigate the frequency of fetal resorption, – measure placental function gene expression by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. Offspring liver mRNA was harvested for real-time PCR to determine gene expression and assess the effects of abortion on offspring development. Results: Mice subjected to 2 previous medical abortions experienced spontaneous abortions in subsequent pregnancies. Medical abortion caused reduced reproductive capacity and affected placental dysfunction, with reduced expression of tissue factor (TF) and genes encoding proteins involved in metabolic functions relevant to pregnancy, such as 11b-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1/2 (11b-HSD1/2) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Reduced expression was also observed for platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (CD31)...

Maternal Mortality and Abortion in Developing Countries: the Need for a Pro-Life Response (2011)

…In Britain ii, the maternal mortality rate is 8.3 per 100,000 live births — and incidentally, Britain does not have the lowest maternal mortality rate by any means. Ireland and Malta have a rather better record. In Malawi, the maternal mortality rate is 1,140.1 per 100,000. The two biggest causes of maternal death iii (and this is very well established) are: — Haemorrhage — Sepsis Haemorrhage is the single biggest cause of maternal death anywhere in the world. It accounts for around one quarter of all cases, and around a third of cases in sub-Saharan Africa iv, followed by sepsis at around 10%. A less common but particularly horrific cause of death is obstructed labour, where the baby becomes stuck in the birth canal and the mother may be maimed for life or killed having spent days in appalling pain trying to deliver a baby who may also die in the process. This is common among very young or malnourished mothers whose pelvises are too small for them to deliver naturally. What is particularly dangerous about haemorrhage is that there is very little time to treat it. If a woman starts bleeding during labour, she has around 12 hours, but if she has a postpartum bleed, she has more like two hours before she bleeds to death. So, if a woman is giving birth in a remote area, miles away from the nearest hospital, without easy access to affordable or suitable transport, she is highly unlikely to receive help in time, or if the hospital has just one doctor on duty or no blood bank and relatives have to...

UNICEF Among Sponsors of New Campaign Promoting Abortion

Canadian government development agencies among participants in campaign A new global initiative was launched by various agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in New York last week that includes a call for legal abortion. Among the sponsors of the initiative called “Deliver Now for Women and Children” is the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), a UN agency that persistently denies they support abortion in any way, shape, or form. Marketed as a campaign to raise awareness of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on maternal and child health, the agenda of “Deliver Now” includes a call for “safe abortion” which is synonymous with legal abortion. The campaign is coordinated by The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, chaired by Kul Gautam, the deputy executive director of UNICEF and assistant secretary-general of the UN, and whose members include among others: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, International Planned Parenthood Federation, government development agencies from the US, UK, Canada, and Bangladesh, as well as WHO and UNFPA. The campaign lists a number of severe maladies that effect maternal health and concludes “most maternal deaths could be prevented if women had access to and could use professional care.” “Deliver Now” defines “quality care” as including “services before and during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period, as well as safe abortion.” The “Deliver Now” website features the stark tagline, “More than 10,000,000 deaths per year. Too many to ignore.” This enormous number is the conflation of two numbers; the total number of childhood deaths per year from all causes, said to be 10 million, and the number of deaths women suffer from maternal causes, a...