There are very few maternal healthcare clinics left in a country that has been torn by five years of civil war, and many of the existing facilities are poorly equipped.
Yvette Cravins knew something was wrong after her second baby was born. More than a week after leaving the hospital, she went to the emergency room and told doctors she was in terrible pain. They provided some pain treatment and told her she was just tired and should return home.
"My initial symptoms were dismissed and my health concerns were diminished," Cravins, who is now chief of staff to Rep. Lacy Clay, D-Mo., said recently outside the Capitol.
It’s a staggering fact of life in this country. Maternal mortality rates in the United States are the highest among developed nations. It is estimated that 700 or more U.S. women die each year from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.
“There is a crisis in women's health in this country, and it is literally killing pregnant women and new moms,” says ABC News chief medical correspondent Jennifer Ashton, MD. A special ABC News report investigating “the who, why, when, how, and where” behind this crisis airs tonight on the news program Nightline.