In contrast, at the same time, a pro-life medical team arrived in Port au Prince to provide emergency medical services and skilled birth attendants to aid the many women who have had to give birth in the streets.
A similarly twisted priority was exhibited this summer in Kansas. Gov. Mark Parkinson– in the name of the state budget crisis– deleted annual maternal assistance to poor pregnant women while restoring the same amount ($325,000) to Planned Parenthood.
The UN’s “family planning first” approach to maternal health includes abortion, and runs counter to the long-standing consensus of the medical community that skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetric care are the best ways to reduce maternal mortality.
Haiti is the only country in the Western hemisphere that is on the UN’s list of 25 priority countries for maternal health programs, and therefore has received maximum distribution of contraception and reproductive health services. Despite this fact, Haiti has one of the highest rates of maternal deaths in the world, and the highest in the Western hemisphere.
Whereas about 11 women die in the United States for every 100,000 live births, about 700 Haitian suffer this fate, a maternal death rate more than five times higher than the average for the Latin American and Caribbean region.
According to IPPF’s last annual report, contraceptive sales are its second highest source of income in the Western hemisphere after patient fees, accounting for more than $25M annually.
Haiti’s IPPF affiliate delivered 600,000 condoms in a single year in 2005 and IPPF awarded the group for keeping up an aggressive contraceptive campaign from 2003-2005 during a period of political and economic instability!
Look for Kansas’ Planned Parenthood to similarly award the Governor and legislators who keep cash flowing to them during our state economic crisis.