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Documentary Film by Christy Turlington Burns Features Planned Parenthood’s Work in Guatemala

Film to Debut Mother’s Day Weekend on OWN – the Oprah Winfrey Network

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Planned Parenthood Federation of America

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In her new documentary, No Woman, No Cry, Christy Turlington Burns shares the very personal story of how unexpected hemorrhaging after the birth of her first child nearly led to her death.  The life-threatening experience led Turlington Burns to investigate the medical conditions faced by women with similar pregnancy complications around the world.

No Woman, No Cry contrasts Turlington Burns’ own ready access to emergency medical care with the deadly consequences faced by 358,000 women who die annually from pregnancy-related causes in countries with less developed health systems.  The film features the work of Dr. Linda Valencia in the prevention of unsafe abortion and the treatment of its consequences in Guatemala.  Dr. Valencia directs Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s (PPFA’s) support for programs in Guatemala.

Abortion is illegal in Guatemala, except to preserve the life of a woman.  These legal restrictions do not prevent it from taking place, but rather drive women to seek black market procedures under unsanitary conditions.  Each year, 65,000 unsafe abortions are performed in the country, resulting in the hospitalization of over 20,000 Guatemalan women.

“An unintended pregnancy puts a woman under enormous pressure and forces her to make a difficult decision,” said Dr. Valencia.  “Those who make it to the hospital after obtaining unsafe abortions show up in our wards nearly dead. As a doctor, it is heartbreaking to see so many women die of wholly preventable causes.”

Dr. Valencia leads PPFA’s efforts to improve access to reproductive health care for women and their families in Guatemala. PPFA supports programs that focus on reducing unintended pregnancy, the root cause of unsafe abortion, by improving women and girls’ access to sex education and contraception; and in training local medical providers in how to treat complications from unsafe abortions.

No Woman, No Cry debuts on OWN – the Oprah Winfrey Network May 7 at 9:30 p.m. EDT/PDT and will rebroadcast on Mother’s Day, May 8 at 1:00 p.m. EDT/PDT.

Click here to view a film trailer featuring Dr. Valencia.

Click here for an image of Dr. Valencia talking to patients in Guatemala.

PPFA’s International Program provides financial and technical assistance to advocates, medical professionals, and youth leaders in 10 countries in Africa and Latin America.  For more information, visit www.plannedparenthood.org/global.

Published

May 05, 2011

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Documentary Film by Christy Turlington Burns Features Planned Parenthood’s Work in Guatemala