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The Forgotten Health Crisis

Every year millions of women and infants die in childbirth. It’s among the world’s most neglected health crises, and the issue rarely gets the attention it deserves in Washington. (It isn’t, to be sure, ignored completely: Earlier this year, Representative Lois Capps of California introduced a bill that would coordinate efforts for reproductive health as PEPFAR did for AIDS, and jack up funding to help cut maternal deaths 75 percent by 2015.) The issue is a very personal one for me, because doctors say that if my mother did not have some of the best obstetric care in the world—right here in the United States—my birth would have killed both of us. I worked at The New Republic from 2008 to 2009. During that time I arranged a trip to Bangladesh, to learn more about the issue. This video was the result: