Christy Turlington: Every Mother Counts

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As you are reading this post, a mom is dying while giving birth. My situation is a fairy tale for many moms around the world (and in our country). I had the choice of who was to deliver my girls, where I would deliver, and how much care I would receive. I was blessed with an abundance of options and the money to pay for all my desires. Supermom and supermodel, Christy Turlington knows that there are millions of moms who don't have these choices.

Her new film, "No Woman No Cry" will debut on May 7th (the night before Mother's Day) on Oprah's new network OWN. The film tells the story of women in dire need of choices and better care.She tells the stories of four women in four countries: The United States, Guatamala, Tanzania, and Bangladesh. We follow along as women are challenged with finding care (walking five miles while in labor to find a clinic in Africa) and looking for their voices to be heard. Yesterday, Christy gathered a group on mom media members to a screening of the film.

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After the screening, Christy created an open dialog with our group. We found out that she self-funded this film so she could tell an honest story and not get bogged down in politics. Christy is currently a student of Public Heath at Columbia University--she also said she wanted to see "where the story took her." And I'd say it took her to some compelling spots. It's amazing to learn that in the US we rank 50th in preventing materal mortality. That means 49 other countries are doing a better job of taking care of their moms. Outrageous.

Christy said, "The medium of film was an ideal way to show the story is of women. I am in a position to travel to these villages and get places viewers can't...To see the setting of her (Janet, one of the mom's featured in the movie) home and her clinic, that is powerful. Film is a medium to start a conversation."

When it was time to leave, Christy gave us one last takeaway. "My biggest message is to use your voice," said the mom of two. I couldn't agree more. The images were powerful and I would encourage everyone to see this film (why not plan a watch party!) and start talking. To help support her campaign to bring better health care around the world buy the new Every Mother Counts CD at Starbucks. $8 of each CD sold (at $12.95 retail) will go to CARE, in partnership with Every Mother Counts, to support maternal health care worldwide. Or go here to see more opportunities on the TAKE ACTION page of www.everymothercounts.org/take-action to get involved.

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