The past quarter century has delivered progress for some women and their newborn babies. Maternal deaths globally have fallen by nearly half (44%) since 1990, and use of maternity services has increased markedly. At the same time, the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for Maternal Health and Rights fell far short of achievement. Some countries and groups of women saw little or no progress, despite significant global political attention on maternal health. In sub-Saharan Africa, a woman’s lifetime risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth remains an appalling 1 in 36 compared with 1 in 4 900 in high income countries. The right to good quality, woman-centered Maternal Health and Rights care is universal. This Series presents a truly global perspective—reporting on experiences from across all regions. For women using services, some receive excellent care but too many experience one of two extremes: too little, too late or too much, too soon. Both extremes represent Maternal Health and Rights care that is not grounded in evidence. And other women receive no care at all.