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Supermodel Turlington Burns And Ginger Spice Advocate For Maternal Health

Here's one way to attract a crowd on Capitol Hill--bring along a supermodel and a Spice Girl.

Both model Christy Turlington Burns and Spice Girl Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell were on the Hill Tuesday, accompanied by a cluster of female representatives and journalists to rally for maternal health at the "Women Delivering for Women" press conference.

"We are thrilled that all this glamour is coming to what is really a very painful and unglamorous issue," said New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who was talking about the dangers of obstetric fistula.

Maloney said she knew something about the dangers of trying to compete with the Spice Girls as well.

"I had a press conference one day when the [United Nations Population Fund] was defunded but it happened to be the same day that the Spice Girls were having a press conference," Maloney recounted.

"No one came to my press conference!"

Maloney and other members of Congress have been working to get the United Nations Population Fund, or UNFPA re-funded after the U.N. agency lost its funding at the hands of the Bush administration in 2002 because of its work in China with the Chinese one-child policy.

Tuesday, Turlington Burns took the train down from New York because of her role as a CARE ambassador and told our Nikki Schwab she had gotten involved, in part, because of her own heritage.

"My mother's from El Salvador so I grew up with a deep understanding of the adversity that women deal with in those areas," Turlington Burns says, adding that her first trip with CARE was to El Salvador when she was seven months pregnant.

Whispers caught up with Halliwell on her last trip to Washington in February, when she was on the Hill fulfilling her role as a goodwill ambassador for the UNFPA and in town performing with the Spice Girls.

And Tuesday the Spice Girl was back at it, singing praises to the UNFPA and spouting Girl Power, again reminding the audience that true Girl Power originated in the United States.

"We need to get some Girl Power to get these reforms through Congress to save lives across the world," Maloney added.

By Paul Bedard