Christy Turlington is one of the world’s most famous models, but the 44-year-old has also been increasing her stature as a global maternal health advocate.
Her work has brought her around the globe, from humanitarian work in Haiti to lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. Now Turlington, who recently starred in a new Calvin Klein ad, has taken to advertising her efforts and spreading the message via Twitter and her own charitable organization.
In 2010 Turlington completed the documentary, No Woman, No Cry, focusing on the stories behind pregnancy health issues worldwide. She followed that up by founding Every Mother Counts, an organization that advocates for pregnant women.
“Our goal is to continue to contribute to the global effort to significantly reduce lives lost at birth,” Christy Turlington said. “I don’t really think of the organization as a legacy per se. We are quite focused on the potential to make childbirth safe for all moms and to achieve that, we have a ways to go. I strongly believe that each preventable death is one death too many.”
Turlington’s work recently brought her to Haiti, where she spent time in a maternity ward. There she saw a woman deliver twins — which was undiagnosed — in a room full of other expecting moms.
“Both babies were extremely premature and needed help breathing, but the facility didn’t have simple equipment that could have saved their lives,” Turlington said.
The babies were transferred to another facility, but it too was not equipped to meet their needs, and both babies died. Turlington said if the mother had better access to prenatal care, the babies could have been delivered safely and lived.
— Christy Turlington (@CTurlington) August 9, 2013
— Christy Turlington (@CTurlington) August 8, 2013
After decades atop the world of modeling, Turlington is now using her stature to further her cause.
“Women who are bringing life into the world deserve access to quality maternity care, and every child deserves a healthy mother to love and protect them,” Christy Turlington said. “I feel strongly that if we have a voice to make a change, we must use it. That is ultimately what drives my work.”