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This photo and series by Lynsey Addario remains one of the most powerful for me because it captures the tragic reality for millions of girls and women who risk their lives bringing life into the world. The look on Mama Sessay’s face in this photo, having lost one of her twins and in a state of shock, says it all. She finally reached a facility to deliver but unfortunately it was too late. With better, more timely access to care, her life could have been saved.

Christy Turlington Burns is a maternal health advocate and founder of Every Mother Counts.

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