Alyne v. Brazil: Case of Alyne da Silva Pimentel Teixeira (“Maternal Mortality”) v. Brazil

Alyne, a 28-year-old Afro-Brazilian woman, died of complications resulting from pregnancy after a private and then a public health center denied her quality maternal health care. Brazil's maternal mortality rates are disproportionately high for a country of its economic status, and the chances of dying in pregnancy and childbirth are greatest among indigenous, low-income, rural and Afro-descendant women such as Alyne. The Alyne v. Brazil case is the first case on maternal mortality to be decided by an international human rights body. The CEDAW Committee’s decision recognizes that states have an immediate and enforceable human rights obligation to address and reduce maternal mortality, strengthening the recognition of reproductive rights as obligations that must be immediately enforced by the state. States are accountable for the provision of quality maternal health care to all women, free from discrimination, regardless of their race, income or geographical location. This decision affects millions of women in Brazil and throughout the world who currently lack access to quality and timely maternal health care. For an analysis and summary of the decision please see our factsheet.