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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Interview with Christy Turlington Burns

No Woman No Cry

A woman dies every 90 seconds from pregnancy and childbirth complications.

In 90% of these cases, the deaths are preventable if given adequate medical care.

There’s a woman I want you to meet, though you probably recognize her from the catwalk, magazine spreads and beauty commercials.

I want you to meet Christy Turlington Burns, not as the supermodel, but as the force behind Every Mother Counts, a campaign for maternal/child healthcare and the director of “No Woman No Cry.”

This is an issue that’s very close to my heart. When we found out that I was pregnant with Andrew, both Scott and I were self-employed and only could afford bare-bones health insurance.

Pregnancy and childbirth were not covered and so I had to sit down with each of my doctors and the hospital to put together a cash payment plan to pay for my basic routine checkups and delivery. That plan didn’t even cover medications, lab work or any abnormalities that might arise. My skeleton insurance covered emergencies that related to ME but “not the fetus,” according to the company.

That meant if something happened to the baby inside my womb, but did not threaten my own life, I was not covered.

It’s not cheap to have a baby and I remember going through 9 months of stress – our monthly doctor and hospital payment plan came first before rent, gas, car and household expenses. What if something happened? What if the baby inside me had complications? How were we going to afford everything?

Luckily, everything was fine and the only thing abnormal about Andrew was that he was a massive drooler, clocking in at needing 7 fresh bibs an hour.

I was lucky. 343,000 other women in the world aren’t and will die this year.

You can watch the premiere of her documentary “No Woman No Cry” on Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on Saturday May 7, 2011 at 9:30 pm ET/PT.

Interview with Christy Turlington Burns

Come read my interview with Christy – I got to chat with her about what inspired her work in maternal health and documentary.

Give Christy a shoutout – she’d love to hear from you:
Every Mother Counts
on Facebook
Follow Christy Turlington on Twitter

Trailer for No Woman No Cry

 



9 Responses to “Interview with Christy Turlington Burns”

  1. Jessica — 5/5/11 @ 3:57 am

    What a great interview Jaden. What a beautiful, important thing Christy is doing. Thanks for sharing this with all of us.

  2. I did research on access to medicines in a rainforest in Madagascar, and I can attest to the gruesome conditions women endure giving birth on mud floors with no chance of survival if there are serious complications. The romance of “natural” birth is a privilege women in the developed world can choose, but to those who do not have access to technology, “natural” birth can be a death sentence.

    And having lost my own sister-in-law to complications from birth here in the U.S., I want to thank you for your testimonial of what it means to be pregnant without adequate health insurance. We have come a long way, but still have so far to go in this most basic of health care needs.

  3. I can relate to the abject fear you feel when faced with being pregnant and having no insurance coverage. I lost my job, a month later my husband lost his job, and a week after that we discovered we were pregnant. The only choice we had was to pay the extremely high COBRA premiums, but what could we do? Pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition. Even if one of us got another job no one would cover the pregnancy. Paying the premiums came before paying everything else and it was extremely stressful. I am still paying montly installments for what our insurance wouldn’t cover.

    I wasn’t afraid of giving birth because I knew I had access to modern medical technology and DRUGS! But there were many times that I did think about women who do without doctors, without drugs, and without hospitals. It would be terrifying.

  4. betty — 5/5/11 @ 6:44 pm

    Thanks for the post on this topic. I’m afraid many people are totally unaware of these issues and some simply do not want to believe them, especially stories like Lisa’s which hit closer to home. I work in a field where there are more contracting positions than permanent positions with full benefits. And I’m a cancer survivor. There’s a big difference between the insurance you get on group plan as opposed to seeking independent coverage. My coverage isn’t great. But there’s not a day that goes by that I am not aware how different the story is for women who do not have access the health care I do.

  5. PartlySunny — 5/7/11 @ 9:06 pm

    The fact that we live in the country we do, with the amount of wealth that it has, and people actually have to be “stressed” during their pregnancies because of health insurance is criminal. I don’t know why we’re tolerating it. That said, I’m eternally grateful that I had modern medicine at my disposal during my pregnancy. I just wish people didn’t have to live in fear of it bankrupting their families.

    Thanks for the great post.

  6. Rose — 5/11/11 @ 2:37 am

    The “technology” that women need most is cleanliness and knowledge. Most deaths are not caused by lack of medicines and machines, but by poverty. Low-tech birth doesn’t have to be terrifying–but lack of knowledge and basic care certainly is.

  7. Jillian_R — 5/12/11 @ 11:33 am

    This was a moving and sad documentary. As usual, I feel that womans’ issues are a hidden thing in most areas of the world and in our society as well. Women as a whole seem to be treated as little more that cattle or slave labor. There are so many sensless deaths.

  8. Loved this post. Thank you for bringing to light such an intense subject and caring about issues like this around the world.

    My husband and I also have minimal health insurance because we are self employed. And if I’m nervous about one day having kids in our situation, I can only imagine what its like in many other countries.

  9. Pingback: Finds on the Feed, and go love your mamas… | Elen Grey's Blog

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