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Why Masahun Khatun and 50,000 pregnant women died in India

India's MMR, or maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live child births), was 178 in 2010-12, worse than poorer countries such as Myanmar and Nepal

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Rafiq Khatun, a daily wage labourer from Phulvari Sharif in eastern Bihar, lost his wife Masahun in a botched abortion. Last year, in eastern Bihar’s Phulvari Sharif, 24-year-old Masahun Khatun was five months pregnant when she fell in the front yard of her house. For the next three weeks, Masahun and her husband shuttled between government hospitals and private practitioners, spending over Rs 40,000 on healthcare, as they tried to get an abortion. Masahun did not survive and her husband, a daily-wage labourer, is struggling to raise their four kids. This is their ...