© 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Global maternal mortality levels fell significantly over 1990-2015. However, in 2015, nearly 300. 000 women still died annually from pregnancy and birth-related complications, primarily from major severe obstetric morbidities, often preventable and treatable. Almost all these deaths occurred in low-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where effective health care is less accessible or affordable. In high-income countries, maternal mortality is now very rare and mostly due to preexisting chronic diseases, but maternal morbidity and near miss cases are more common. Disparities in outcomes between and within all countries highlight shared needs to improve health-care capacity, quality, and equity, as well as well-being.