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Entries in family planning (1)

Monday
May072012

Melinda Gates Makes Global Contraception & Family Planning Top Priority of Gates Foundation | Sibelius at Georgetown

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Besides trying to save Planned Parenthood for American women, there is probably no issue that upsets me more in life than the Catholic Church’s refusal to allow contraception in poor countries. American women had better fasten our own seat belts, because the bishops are on the march here in America to end contraception, too.

Reading now that Melinda Gates has made a decision that family planning will be her signature issue and a primary public health priority nearly has me weeping. Michelle Goldberg shares the news that the Gates Foundation will convene a summit of world leaders in London in July, to begin raising the $4 billion the foundation will need to get 120 million more women access to contraceptives by 2020.

Melinda Gates says that she will also invest in sponsoring research in the “long-neglected field of contraceptive research, seeking entirely new methods of birth control.” Melinda seeks to galvanize a global movement.

Gates believes that by focusing on the lives of women and children, and by making it clear that the agenda is neither coercive population control nor abortion, the controversy over international family-planning programs can be defused. Right now, she points out, 100,000 women annually die in childbirth after unintended pregnancies. Six hundred thousand babies born to women who didn’t want to be pregnant die in the first month of life. “She is somebody who really sees this as a public-health necessity,” says Melanne Verveer, the United States ambassador at large for global women’s issues. “I think she believes, and I hope she is right, that people of different political persuasions can come together on this issue.”

Melinda Gates on Contraception

“You get her out in the field with a group of women, she is totally in her element,” a foundation official says. (Courtesy of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)Melinda Gates won’t have an easy time launching this new initiative. Susan Yoshihara, director of research at the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute — a huge factor in resisting foreign aid or philanthropy dollars for family planning programs — says about the initiative: ““If she wants to put money into it, that’s fine, but she doesn’t get to say no one gets to argue with me.”

After making her announcement in April at a TEDxChange conference in Berlin, the headlines were devastating.

“Melinda Gates Promotes Abortion at Mtg, Attacks Catholics,” read a headline on LifeNews.com. The U.K. Catholic Herald’s Francis Phillips was more measured, saying, “It is always a disappointment when a public figure of great wealth, standing or power explains that although they are loyal Catholics they think Church teaching is wrong—predictably on moral matters.”

See TEDxChange.org — How Have Contraceptives Changed Your Life.

Georgetown Rebels, Invites Sibelius

Days after the Vatican demanded that Catholic bishops be put in charge of teachers at America’s Catholic Universities, and all speakers and talks be subject to bishops’ approval, Georgetown University has fired back by inviting US Secy of Health and Human Services Kathleen Silbelius, a Catholic who lives in the bullseye of bishops’ scorn, to give the policy institute’s commencement address.

Sebelius announced the Obama Administration contraception mandate compromise, an action that has caused the Catholic Church to launch a “fortnight of freedom” crying that the church is being persecuted in America. via USA Today