Amnesty enlists celebrities for maternity health call

LONDON - Keira Knightley, Annie Lennox and Beverley Knight are among celebrities calling on the Government to make global maternal and newborn health a priority, as part of a campaign by Amnesty International.

The human rights charity wants the UK government to prioritise maternal and newborn health care globally to enable all women to access their basic right to health care.

It is premiering its three-minute film, which also features Dervla Kirwan and Jonathan Pryce, in the Houses of Parliament today ahead of Mother's Day on Sunday.

The film was created in-house, with editing by Reel Nice Films, graphics by O-Motion and music by Tom Linden.

The charity is also encouraging thousands of its supporters to send a Mother's Day card online via www.amnesty.org.uk/mums outlining its calls to each of the three main party leaders – prime minister Gordon Brown, Conservative party leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg – to maintain political commitment to maternal health in their global priorities.

Earlier this week a coalition of organisations including Amnesty, Save the Children and the White Ribbon Alliance, revealed the rate of pregnant women dying in countries in the developing world matches the rate of pregnant British women who died because of their condition 100 years ago.

Approximately half a million women die each year because of childbirth-related factors, mainly in poorer countries.

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