Maternal Death Rates & U.S. Health Disparities

pregnant-bellyIn the news this week: Why is the U.S. maternal mortality rate going up?


The U.S. has the only rising maternal mortality rate in the developed world. Rita Henley Jensen broke this story in Women’s eNews! The emphasis now is on keeping premature and low birth weight babies alive vs. maternal care to increase the birth weight of their babies. The reasons women die are embolisms, infections, hemorrhaging and Pre-eclampsia — which is 50% avoidable!

Carolyn Gage interviewed Rita Henley Jensen
for our Feminism Telesummit.

carolyn gage and rita henley jensen on maternal mortality

(You can listen to the free interview here.)

Here is What We Learned: Maternal Death Rates & U.S. Health Disparities

U.S. hospitals are not prepared or equipped to deal with obstetric emergencies!

Women’s mortality rates indicate the effectiveness of a nation’s healthcare system. There is no consistency in state’s reporting of maternal death due to their refusal to add this reason for death on Death Certificates.

African American women die 3 to 4 times more often of pregnancy than white women.

The World Health Organization (WHO) U.S.  Maternal Death Rate statistics are higher than the CDC’s.

African American women experience racism by Medicaid when in pain.
Women need a partner or advocate in delivery! “Every pregnancy needs a Midwife and a Doula,” says Rita.

100 Anti-Abortion Laws were introduced in the first two months of 2015!

What becomes news and what becomes the national conversation is determined by money and polls. Women journalists are widely unreported advocates of women’s stories. Rita Henley Jensen has a tremendous love for basic fairness. She founded Women’s eNews and is impassioned to “change journalism.” Women’s eNews has a focus on optimism, and the push-back by women toward solutions and advocacy to make things happen.

You have to stay informed to make change.” Rita Henley Jensen

More articles:

Jane Crow: Black Maternal Health
To Curb Maternal Death, U.S. Hospitals Urged to Weigh Bleeding Pads
California Project Quietly Battles Maternity Risks
Doctors Open Window on U.S. Maternal Care Crisis
NYC Reports Black Moms’ Risks 12 Times Above Whites
Hospitals Train to Track, React to Maternal Bleeding
Healthy Births, Healthy Moms: Black Maternal Health in America
In Detroit Hospital, Black Babies Are Latching On
Simple Language Helps Catch a Killer: Preeclampsia
National Initiative Tackles Rising U.S. Maternal Deaths
U.S. Hospitals Hinder Black Women’s Breastfeeding
New Twitter Storm Is About Public Breastfeeding