#WCIW: Christy Turlington Burns
Supermodel. Women’s Rights Activist. Reproductive Health Advocate.
One of the biggest names in fashion in the 1990s was model, Christy Turlington Burns. She was the face of Calvin Klein, covered publications like Vogue, and graced every major runway. She, along with Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell were the original “Supers”. Later, she became a proponent of yoga as a means of a happier, healthier life. More recently, Christy has been an activist working to ensure safe births in impoverished countries.
In 2010, Turlington Burns directed and produced a documentary called No Woman No Cry about the tragedy of preventable infant and mother mortality rates during birth and pregnancy in impoverished nations. Eventually, the cause became Christy’s passion and she helped to develop it into a foundation in 2012. Every Mother Counts is an organization that provides grants for transportation, education, and supplies for women, expectant mothers, and hospitals in developing countries and in the US. They have raised over $17 million and impacted over 600,000 lives.
Turlington Burns has also taken her cause to Capitol Hill as an advocate for women’s reproductive health and rights. In 2012, after Congressman Todd Akin made comments about women’s ability to get pregnant from “legitimate rape”, Every Mother Counts and the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective sent copies of Our Bodies, Ourselves to every member of Congress in an effort to “Educate Congress”. Christy has also testified before Congress on multiple occasions, attended marches, participated in fundraising events, and even ran the Kilimanjaro Half Marathon—all to benefit the causes nearest to her heart.
For her compassion, advocacy, and activism, Christy Turlington Burns is this week’s #WCIW. To learn more about Turlington Burns and Every Mother Counts, visit everymothercounts.org.