HARRISBURG (April 17, 2012) – The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project will be on display on Friday, May 11th, from 9a.m. to 3p.m., with a press conference starting at 11a.m., in the Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg. Internationally renowned midwife, author, and creator of The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project, Ina May Gaskin, will be speaking. Amnesty International, the Greater Harrisburg Area Birth Circle, the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN Harrisburg), and other organizations will be represented.
The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project is a national initiative honoring women who have died of pregnancy-related causes since 1982. The quilt project draws public attention to the United States’ rising maternal death rates, as well as the gross underreporting of maternal deaths.
The USA spends more than any other country on health care, and more on maternal health than any other type of hospital care. Despite this, women in the USA have a higher risk of dying of pregnancy-related complications than those in 49 other countries, according to UN data.
African American women in the United States face 3 to 4 times the risk of dying from childbirth related complications. Women living in low-income areas across the US are twice as likely to suffer a maternal death as women in high income areas. Maternal mortality rates and disparities have not improved in more than 20 years. A safe pregnancy is a human right for every woman regardless of race or income.
Following the display, the quilt will be moved to Dixon University on Front Street in Harrisburg from 5pm-9pm, for a fundraising cocktail reception, with noted speakers, book signing with Ina May Gaskin, musical entertainment, and silent auction. The Greater Harrisburg Area Birth Circle will be presenting a Safe Motherhood Award to a local and national mothers’ advocate.