Every ninety seconds, somewhere in the world, a mother dies in childbirth. For three days this week, in Times Square in New York City, Amnesty International, a global human rights group, placed a "maternal death clock" to note each minute-and-a-half marker.
The clock was hung in conjunction with the big meeting the United Nations was hosting, the subject of which was how the nations of the world are doing on eliminating poverty and other ills, including infant and maternal mortality.
So far, Goal 5 (of the eight Millennium Development Goals), cutting maternal mortality by 75 percent by 2015, is lagging the rest.
All told, nearly 1,000 women die in childbirth every day, according to estimates by the U.N. and the World Bank.
“It’s such a clear example of people dying who don’t need to,” Larry Cox, the executive director of Amnesty International USA. told the New York Times' Clyde Haberman this week.