174 MEPS representing the large majority of Member States and political groups signed the Declaration, showing beyond a doubt that this is an issue for Europe as a whole, regardless of political affiliation.
On 29 September 2015, the Alliance for Maternal Health Equality organized a discussion with policy makers and experts at the European Parliament, as part of the first Safe Motherhood Week in Europe.
Some of the best discussions are often held around the dinner table. A combination of a convivial atmosphere and a good guest list can make all the difference. A working dinner on maternal health hosted by the Alliance for Maternal Health Equality in partnership with the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN) and the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF), had exactly those ingredients.
On 24 February, MEP Filiz Hyusmenova tabled a Declaration on universal access to maternal healthcare, with a particular focus on Europe where of the 5 million women who give birth every year, 1 in 10 do not have access to care in the first months of their pregnancy.
Maternal mortality in Europe is low compared to other parts of the world. However, look closer at the statistics and you’ll see that within the seemingly rosy picture are vast inequities, with immigrant and ethnic minority women greatly over-represented in Europe’s 1,900 maternal deaths per year. It was this realisation that spurred the Alliance for Maternal Health Equality’s founders into action. “We realised that, even if on paper minority groups have access to healthcare systems, in reality they don’t always benefit as the system is not designed for them,” says Nicholas Brooke, founder and executive officer of The Synergist, the group behind the Alliance’s formation.