The Danish media is a law unto itself. All it takes is one reassuring spokesperson to say
“Don’t worry that we sent you home during an induction and some people have been badly injured in this process, keep in mind Denmark is one of the safest places in which to give birth”
and the subeditor will write the following headline
Is this true?
If you wish to compare Denmark with countries such as Somalia, South Sudan and Afghanistan, Denmark looks pretty good.
If you prefer to compare the risks in similar developed countries (in the OECD, for example), Denmark is poor to middling.
(Statistics were unavailable for any year after 2009.)
Maternal mortality per 100 000 live births in 2009
Denmark was the second most dangerous country in the OECD. Better than Mexico but worse than Hungary, Turkey, Chile, Slovak Republic, the UK etc.
Neonatal mortality per 100 000 live births in 2009
Denmark was the 13th safest country in the OECD. This puts it in the middle of the table.
There are other statistics available from the UN but these are estimated based on access to midwives/hospitals/prenatal care. Denmark is doing worse than it should be, given the advantages Danish women have in their country.
Is sending someone home during an induction safe? I don’t know. Is Denmark a particularly unsafe country in which to give birth? Probably not.
To say that Denmark is “one of the safest” is technically true but then so are a lot of countries. Saying it is THE safest is demonstrably untrue. Especially since on International Women’s Day, The Independent said Greece and Norway were the best. Strangely, Denmark did not pick that story up.