While our nation is currently facing a tough economic situation, a small fraction of the federal budget goes to global health programs, and they are having a very real impact on communities and saving lives.
Globally, we are seeing a significant decline in maternal death rates -- a one third reduction since 1990. And yet we still have a long way to go. Childbirth remains the biggest killer of young women around the world.
Our goal: to create a vibrant community around the shared dream of a healthy pregnancy, a safe birth, and a baby who will survive and thrive -- basic human rights that all too often are simply out of reach for women in the developing world.
With the breakneck pace so many people live these days, there's a temptation to press for more certainty about exactly when baby arrives. But when it comes to giving birth, it's best in the vast majority of cases to follow a natural course.
Most mothers in this country and in the West accept sacrifices willfully because the joy and beauty of motherhood overwhelms them. In much of the rest of the world, however, the sacrifice of motherhood means something very different.