"We Americans are consumed with the need to believe that we are number one. But here's a wrenching fact: forty-one countries have better infant mortality rates than the United States does. In 2002, our infant mortality rate went up, not down, and if the United States had an infant mortality rate as good as Cuba's, we would save an additional 2,212 American babies a year. And mothers? Women are 70 percent more likely to die in childbirth in America than in Europe, and the rate of women dying in childbirth in America has been going up every year for more than twenty years. . . .
"Just as those who never make mistakes can never learn from them, so too those who must always be number one can never learn from others. . . .
"[S]omething happens in the countries at the bottom of the chart. It varies from country to country, but whatever it is, when things get really bad and women's reproductive freedom is abused severely enough, some precipitating factor or series of events finally brings women's attention to the power doctors hold over their reproductive lives. This leads to women's disillusionment, anger, and resentment and a call to action. . . .
"[Midwives] join with the angry women (often forming coalitions that also include scientists, journalists, some politicians, and some doctors and nurses) to start the long, difficult process of regaining women's autonomy in childbirth and reproduction, moving the country up . . . .
"It seems there is at least one thing more powerful than the medical establishment: women, when they are angry and get organized" (Marsden Wagner, Born in the USA, p. 212, 214-215).