For More Information Contact:
Zahra Aziz, Communications & Marketing Manager, Americans for UNFPA, Telephone: +1 646.649.9110 (office), +1 917.696.6181 (mobile)

Three in Four Americans call on President Obama to Prioritize Maternal Health in Low-Income Nations.

The risk of women dying from pregnancy-related causes in a low-income country is 36 times higher than in a developed country.1

New York, N.Y. - September 20, 2010 – One thousand women die daily due to pregnancy related causes and the majority of Americans (75%) believe that reducing these deaths should be a priority of President Obama and his Administration, according to a study just released by Americans for UNFPA, conducted by Harris Interactive2. Further, over eight in ten agree that lack of adequate healthcare is one of the most serious global issues facing women (82%).

With just five years left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at reducing world poverty, President Obama is among the hundreds of world leaders slated to attend a summit convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on September 20-22, 2010 to accelerate progress towards the MDGs, including reaching the target of 75% reduction in maternal death by 2015 and achieving universal access to reproductive health. In line with U.S. support, the Administration recently introduced the Global Health Initiative, targeted to reduce maternal and child deaths and treat preventable diseases.

A new UN study released last week3 showed an annual average decrease of 2.3% in maternal death worldwide since 1990. A decrease of 5.5% is needed to meet the worldwide promise by 2015.

Americans for UNFPA is urging the American public to petition the Obama Administration to keep the momentum going and put women’s health at the heart of U.S. global priorities. According to the study conducted by Harris Interactive:

  • Nine of out ten Americans believe that every woman on the planet deserves access to quality maternal and reproductive health care (91%).
  • Over eight in ten Americans believe that maternal health is an indicator of a functioning health system (83%).
  • More than eight in ten Americans say lack of adequate healthcare is one of the most serious global issues facing women (82%).
  • Over seven in ten Americans believe that voluntary family planning is key to saving women’s lives (73%).

“The numbers speak for themselves. The American people stand united in the call for universal access to quality maternal healthcare.” says Anika Rahman, President, Americans for UNFPA.

To further the conversation on how the U.S. can play a role in achieving MDG 5, universal access to maternal and reproductive health care, Americans for UNFPA, together with Population Action International are hosting a tweet chat (#MDG5) on Tuesday, September 21st from 3-4pm. To join the tweet chat visit @unfpa or @popact and tweet using hash tag #MDG5.

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About Americans for UNFPA

Americans for UNFPA builds moral, political and financial support within the United States for the work of UNFPA. UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, provides women’s health care and promotes the rights of women in 150 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for The Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

About the Survey

This women’s global health survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Americans for UNFPA between September 14 - September 16, 2010, among 2,052 adults ages 18+. Results were weighted as needed on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, and race/ethnicity. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. A full methodology is available.

[1] According to a new report, "Trends in maternal mortality," released by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Bank.  

[2] This study was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Americans for UNFPA between September 14-September 16, 2010 among 2,052 U.S. adults 18 and over. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.

[3] The number of women dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth has decreased by 34% from an estimated 546,000 in 1990 to 358,000 in 2008, according to the report, "Trends in maternal mortality."