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Model And Maternal Health Advocate Christy Turlington Burns: I Would Not Have Survived If I Lived In A Rural Community

Posted: 04/19/2012 8:46 pm Updated: 04/23/2012 1:01 pm

Model, maternal health advocate and supermom Christy Turlington Burns was in Chicago, Ill., this week for a film screening of her documentary "No Woman, No Cry" at the Gene Siskel Film Center, ABC News reports.

The film -- which first premiered in March 2010 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City -- is Turlington Burns' directorial debut.

In it, she shares the powerful stories of at-risk pregnant women in four parts of the world, including Bangladesh and the United States.

When "No Woman, No Cry" was first launched, Marie Claire called Turlington Burns a "model citizen" and lauded her film for its call for crucial discussion about maternal health.

Through the documentary and its treatment of the universal experience of birth, Turlington Burns hoped to create a "mainstream maternal health movement that ensures the lives and well-being of mothers worldwide," said the film's website.

According to the WHO, 1000 women die daily from pregnancy-related causes.

"One woman is too many women," Turlington Burns told ABC News. "Every mother counts. Every mother."

Every Mother Counts is also the name of the advocacy and mobilization campaign that Turlington Burns founded in 2010. Its aim is to increase education and support for maternal mortality reduction globally.

"Without all of us coming together on the issue of improved maternal health, there will be no lasting success," she wrote last year in the Globe and Mail. "No woman should die giving life."

Turlington Burns has said that a difficult personal experience inspired her to take up this critical cause. After delivering her first child, the mother of two suffered a serious complication.

"If I had been in a rural community, I would not have survived," said Turlington Burns, who is also a CARE ambassador. "That realization made me really want to do more."

Now, after the success of her first film, Turlington Burns' husband, filmmaker and actor Edward Burns, told ABC News that another documentary may be in the works.

Watch a trailer for "No Woman, No Cry" here.

Christy Turlington Burns blogs for The Huffington Post.

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Filed by Dominique Mosbergen  |