The authors of the Lancet study, researchers at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins, found that the number of maternal deaths in those countries in 2008 would have nearly doubled without contraception. They acknowleged, however, that maternal mortality record-keeping is weak in developing countries, a limitation of the study. They also found that an additional 29 percent of the deaths could have been prevented if women who wanted birth control would have received it, a concept called unmet need that is estimated using surveys of mothers in developing countries.
Sabrina Tavernise, "Study Says Meeting Contraception Needs Could Cut Maternal Deaths by a Third," The New York Times. The New York Times, 9 July 2012. Web. 16 July 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/10/health/meeting-contraception-needs-cou... [verified 4/22/14]