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San Diegans To Join National Call For Maternal Care Improvements

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diegans are scheduled to take part today in a nationwide rally calling for improvements in maternity care.

The "Rally to Improve Birth,'' organized by the nonprofit ImprovingBirth.org, is one of 150 events taking place around the nation. It's scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in the lawn area off President's Way in Balboa Park.

The organization quotes United Nations statistics that show the U.S. has the highest costs in the world for maternity care but ranks 45th in maternal death rates.

"We're in a true crisis, with the highest costs in the world and some of the worst health outcomes related to childbirth,'' said Dawn Thompson, president of ImprovingBirth. "Nine out of 10 American women receive care that increases the risks of harm to them and their babies. We must do better.''

Supporters at 170 rallies around the country plan to call for safer, evidence-based birth practices that put women and babies before profits, convenience and liability concerns.

The group advocates for doctors to obtain fully informed consent, use medical interventions only when necessary and reduce the rate of Cesarean section -- which they say occurs in one in three American births, more than double the highest recommended rate by the World Health Organization.

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