On May 13, model and activist Christy Turlington Burns is asking you to skip Mother's Day... and observe "No Mother's Day," instead. The effort, part of Turlington Burns' Every Mother Counts campaign, is designed to call attention to the 358,000 mothers around the world who die each year from pregnancy or childbirth complications, 90 percent of which are preventable. Turlington Burns wants women to discourage loved ones from buying them gifts, and to stay silent on Mother's Day — no answering the phone, no updating of Facebook profiles — to show "how much a mother is missed when she is gone" (see the campaign's video below). Is this an effective way to show solidarity with at-risk moms-to-be?
This scheme is too confusing to do much good: Turlington Burns' heart is in the right place, says Shawna Cohen at Mommyish, and lots of women would be happy to help. The trouble is, her "No Mother's Day" Mother's Day idea "is totally confusing. In fact, it makes zero sense." Turlington Burns says she'll still enjoy a meal with her kids and her own mom, and she's not calling for a boycott of florists. Are we skipping Mother's Day or not? What exactly does she want moms to do?
"Christy Turlington urges us to skip Mother's Day this year, but I have no idea why"
If it raises awareness, it's worth a shot: Turlington Burns is just trying to call attention to these preventable deaths, says Ceridwen Morris at Babble, and she's wise to target a day that fuels $18 billion in spending every year. Turlington Burns convinced celebrity moms, including Blythe Danner, Debra Messing, Jennifer Connelly, and Dooce blogger Heather B. Armstrong, to explain the project in a "moving video plea." If you want to help make more people aware, "spread the word."
"Christy Turlington asks us to skip Mother's Day"
Skipping Mother's Day is just a start: Getting moms to pass up their special day is just step one, says Bonnie Rochman at TIME. Preventing maternal deaths will take "better training, education and supplies," and that takes money. The real goal here is to raise awareness of the problem so more people will raise money for projects Every Mother Counts supports, such as building health clinics in the Democratic Republic of Congo and providing motorcycles for health-care in Kenya.
"No Mother's Day? Why model Christy Turlington Burns wants a boycott"
Watch the "No Mother's Day" video plea for yourself: