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Christy Turlington Spends Mother’s Day Marching for Women Around the World: ‘Lives Are at Stake’

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Christy Turlington at the Moms March in Washington DC on Sunday
Every Mother Counts

Christy Turlington Burns spent Mother’s Day celebrating moms around the world.

The model — who started the organization Every Mother Counts in 2010 after experiencing a childbirth complication with her daughter Grace 13 years ago — traveled to Washington, D.C., to be a part of the Mom’s March on Sunday.

The rally came to be after Dr. Neel Shah, an obstetrician from Harvard and Dr. Ginger Breedlove, the former president of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, decided they wanted to speak out at the event.

“After the election they reached out to organizations like Every Mother Counts for partnerships,” Turlington Burns tells PEOPLE. “We jumped in right away.”

Every Mother Counts
Apple

The mother of two spent the day at the Jefferson Memorial, celebrating mothers with other moms and people who take care of them.

“Every day, 800-plus women die from childbirth complications, so I think about that every day,” she says. “In a sense, Mother’s Day is every day and yet it’s just one single day where women are more top of mind than they typically are.”

The holiday, she says, is an opportunity for her to spread awareness.

“I don’t think about it personally as much as I do holistically,” says Turlington Burns, who was able to spend Sunday night with her family. “I think about all the moms in the world and not just whether I’m appreciated and valued because I know that am, but so many women aren’t.”

She added: “Women’s lives are at stake because they’re not valued the same way as everyone.”

Every Mother Counts — a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother — kicked off their Orange Rose Mother’s Day Campaign, which they first introduced in 2016 as a unifying symbol for global maternal health.

“It’s continued to grow and evolve,” she says. “I didn’t want to necessarily do a ribbon or a bracelet. It’s a symbol of something that promises what a woman should feel like when she enters motherhood — vibrant and strong.”