Rita Henley Jensen at Women’s E News broke the story on Maternal Death Rates & U.S. Health Disparities: The U.S. has the only rising maternal mortality rate in the developed world. 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!