Shine a Light on Maternal Health This Mother's Day

Shine a Light on Maternal Health This Mother's Day

Request Your Mother's Day Action Cards Today

Join the fight for maternal health by requesting Mother's Day action cards to send to U.S. and world decisionmakers. Email with your name, address, and the number of cards you want (they come in sets of six).

Every 90 seconds, somewhere in the world, a woman dies from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Here in the United States, women face a greater risk of maternal death than in 49 other countries.

This Mother's Day, you can help change that.

In the four weeks around Mother's Day (April 23 - May 22), Amnesty International activists across the country will be writing Mother's Day action cards to U.S. and international decisionmakers, using the power of film to educate their communities about maternal mortality, and lobbying their elected officials to support a vital new bill. Join us!

Get Involved!

•  Write Mother's Day action cards on your own! The cards come in sets of six - tell us how many you'd like at
•  Show the world your activism! Email your event photos to , or upload them to our Flickr group.

Mother's Day action cards

Amnesty International's oldest and most time-tested tool is the individual, hand-written letter, calling on the authorities to uphold human rights. This Mother's Day, we're putting a twist on that traditional idea by writing Mother's Day action cards to U.S. and international decisionmakers, calling on them to uphold every mother's right to a safe and healthy childbirth. We'll send you our cards and case sheets in sets of six for you to write and return to us using the envelope provided.

Join us in writing Mother's Day action cards to:

Your representative and senators, asking them to support the Maternal Health Accountability Act. This bipartisan bill promises a dramatic step forward in fighting maternal mortality in the United States. It would help establish a maternal mortality review board in every state, combat disparities in maternal health outcomes with new research and pilot programs, and address severe maternal complications with new data collection and review. Mother's Day is our best opportunity to generate support for the bill.

The new president of Peru, telling him or her to prioritize maternal health care for poor, rural and Indigenous women. In Peru, those women are at by far the greatest risk of dying in pregnancy and childbirth. A new government takes office on July 28 - and Amnesty International is pushing to make sure maternal health care for all women is high on the agenda.

Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, calling on him to follow through on his commitment to lift financial barriers to maternal health care. Thousands of women die in childbirth every year in Burkina Faso. Often, cost prevents women from accessing life-saving care. Last year, President Compaore pledged to lift financial barriers to maternal health care - but so far, nothing concrete has come of that promise.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling on her to put human rights at the heart of U.S. development policy. The world is making progress on Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5, which aims to cut maternal mortality by 75%. But too many women - like members of minorities, rural women, and the poorest of the poor - are being left behind. A human rights-based approach to fighting maternal mortality would ensure that all populations are included, especially those most at risk. The United States should put human rights at the heart of its policies on MDG 5 - and all the MDGs.


The Power of Film

No Woman, No Cry - Saturday, May 7, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on the Oprah Winfrey Network. In maternal health advocate Christy Turlington Burns's gripping directorial debut, she shares the powerful stories of at-risk pregnant women in four parts of the world, including a remote Maasai tribe in Tanzania, a slum of Bangladesh, a post-abortion care ward in Guatemala, and a prenatal clinic in the United States. No Woman, No Cry has its broadcast premiere on Saturday, May 7, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on the Oprah Winfrey Network. For more information on the film, go to Every Mother Counts.

Dead Mums Don't Cry. Obstetrician Grace Kodindo practices medicine in Chad - where women face a one in 14 lifetime risk of dying in childbirth. This BBC film documents her daily struggle to save women's lives, making terribly clear the barriers that pregnant women face in the world's poorest countries. The Demand Dignity Campaign has a limited number of DVDs of this vivid documentary to loan to AIUSA activists.

Take the Fight for Maternal Health to Congress

The bipartisan Maternal Health Accountability Act addresses the most urgent recommendations of Amnesty International's Deadly Delivery report. But your elected officials won't sign on to this legislation unless they hear from their constituents. From April 29 to May 8, Amnesty International delegations around the country are lobbying their Representatives and Senators in their local offices. Join us!

Take Action Online

No time to host or join an event? No problem! You can still help protect every woman's right to a safe childbirth by taking action online:

Mother's Day Resources

•  Mother's Day 2011 Activist Guide
•  Mother's Day Event Flyer
•  Maternal Health is a Human Right poster (download this file to take to your local printer)
•  Dead Mums Don't Cry Film Guide

Don't Forget - Share Your Success!

Email your event photos to, or upload them to our Flickr group.