Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Connelly stepped out publicly for the first time since giving birth to her daughter Agnes Lark at the UN “Every Woman, Every Child” reception last week in New York City. The event shed light on worldwide healthcare issues in order to save the lives of 16 million women and children. Key figures in business, politics, health, culture, and media announced their support at the event, including supermodel Christy Turlington and rap superstar 50 Cent.
In a statement released to Celebrity Baby Scoop, Jennifer said she felt compelled to attend the reception, which supports a cause near and dear to her heart. “I’m a mother. I have three children…I felt that I had options [with pre-natal care],” the 40-year-old actress said.
The A Beautiful Mind actress gave birth to daughter Agnes via planned home birth at the New York City apartment she shares with husband Paul Bettany and sons Kai, 13, and Stellan, 7.
Most recently I gave birth to my daughter Agnes Lark, who was delivered by a midwife about three and a half months ago,” Jennifer said. “With each pregnancy, I felt that I had options. And in fact made different decisions in terms of what kind of healthcare I would have and where I would deliver. But one thing I never questioned was the fact that I would have healthcare. That I would have thorough pre-natal care and that I would have an assisted birth. I never considered giving birth alone.”
Jennifer went on to talk about the importance of access to proper healthcare for every woman and child.
“Now as I’ve seen in my travels, especially in the developing world, healthcare for pregnant women is not always guaranteed,” she said. “Long distances to health facilities and lack of adequate health workers close to their homes, means that mothers often go into labor alone. And without skilled help, the risk to their lives and the lives of their unborn children is great, especially in the event of a complication.”
Frontline health workers, including midwives, and community health workers are the key to providing life-saving care to mothers, newborns, and children, where the need is greatest,” Jennifer added.
Rap superstar 50 Cent, born to the name Curtis Jackson, not only attended the reception, he shared his powerful story of survival.
I was born in Jamaica Hospital,” he said. “I’m from South Jamaica, Queens, New York. Never met my father before. My mom was killed when I was eight years old.
In his stunning statement, the 36-year-old father-of-one continued to describe how he became involved in this great cause.
“May 24, 2000, I experienced being shot nine times,” he shard. “And after surviving that incident, I felt like music was my calling and my reason for surviving that situation. Now I understand clearly that that’s a very small portion of what I’m supposed to do with my life moving forward. Music is just my way of reaching the masses. And that I need to do things a little more positive and more productive away from that to create an example of what you can do when you’re provided the information that allows you to grow.”
The rapper/actor went on to describe how he’s trying to make a positive difference.
Following my travels, I was able to sort out who would be the best person to try to create a project with or to do something with – that would be exciting and would allow people to see my intentions clearly,” he said. “Through my management, I made contact with Chris Clark. We put together a project we call, SK. It’s an energy drink called Street King and we launched it Wednesday last week. I was able to provide 2.5 million meals on that day of the launch because it sold out. We utilized my influence and social network, and I was able to promote it in a way that’s not traditional. But effective. It worked out.”
He went on to state his personal goal of feeding millions of people.
Tonight, I’m personally going to make sure I’m able to create 10 million more meals through the World Food Program. It feels great. It feels great to be amongst you. It’s amazing for me.”
He added: “My first project, Get Rich or Die Trying, was completely about making money. When you grow up without finances that’s the big issue in front of you. You see that there’s no freedom based on finance. I wrote those things. And I don’t regret writing them but I want you to see what happens after you grow pass that point. You start to develop a higher sense of what you’re after – and that’s happiness. And being able to be a big example and role model.”
Mom-of-two Christy Turlington – public health advocate and director of No Woman, No Cry, a documentary about maternal mortality worldwide – also spoke out at the reception.
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I not only experienced a post-partum hemorrhage but I survived one,” Christy said. “And that’s my wish really for all women and all mothers in the world. Too many women do not have access to health services and that’s something that we need to change. And I think with the increase in all of our efforts and increasing that sort of health-worker base, I think we can actually get closer to achieving that goal of having no woman give birth alone.”