Melinda Gates, the billionaire wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, announced at the recent Global Family Planning Summit in London that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will funnel $375 million to population control efforts over the next four years — a 60 percent increase above what the couple has so far given to the global abortion and contraception initiative, reports the UK women’s magazine Marie Claire.
Pointing to President Trump’s move early in his administration to cut off funding to health and family planning NGOs that include abortion in their “services,” Ms. Gates told the assembled population control bureaucrats that “this is a difficult political climate for family planning. I’m deeply troubled, as I’m sure you are, by the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts.”
As reported by The New American, shortly after taking office in January President Trump signed an executive order re-implementing President Reagan’s 1984 Mexico City Policy that blocks U.S. taxpayer funding to groups that perform and promote abortions overseas (the policy had been rescinded by President Obama, and earlier by President Clinton).
Following up on that signature, on May 15 the Trump administration announced an expansion of that $600 million funding ban to encompass all U.S. international health care, which amounts to nearly $9 billion. “The administration said that under the expanded order, called officially the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance plan, the same amount of funding would still be available globally, but would only go to groups that promise not to perform abortions as part of their ‘family planning’ strategies,” reported The New American.
Ms. Gates said that her foundation’s funding will be earmarked only for contraception and sex education, but, reported LifeNews.com, “the money also will indirectly fund abortions, too. The billionaire family already gives money to some of the largest abortion chains in the world, including Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International.” LifeNews went on to explain that “the fungibility of money makes it easier for pro-abortion organizations to provide abortion internationally. In other words, every dollar the Gates Foundation gives to Planned Parenthood for distributing birth control or building an abortion-friendly clinic frees up a dollar in Planned Parenthood’s budget to spend elsewhere.”
The Gates Foundation grant database reveals that, between 2009 through 2013, the foundation gave Planned Parenthood of America, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and Planned Parenthood of Western Washington some $71 million. It also funded the British abortion conglomerate Marie Stopes International to the tune of $46.1 million in 2012.
While Ms. Gates considers herself a practicing Catholic, her position on contraceptives and birth control put her squarely at odds with the Church. In comments earlier this year she called contraceptives “one of the greatest anti-poverty innovations the world has ever known.”
Additionally, she declared that “contraceptives empower women,” arguing that birth control increases economic productivity in developing countries by giving women more freedom to work, and also leads to smaller families so that parents can devote more time and resources to the children the “choose” to bring into this world.
Ms. Gates has offered her own life as a testament to the “freeing” power of birth control. “It’s no accident that my three kids were born three years apart — or that I didn’t have my first child until I’d finished graduate school and devoted a decade to my career at Microsoft,” she wrote earlier this year in Fortune magazine. “My family, my career, my life as I know it are all the direct result of contraceptives. And now, I realize how lucky that makes me.”
In a recent BBC interview, Ms. Gates said she felt “optimistic” that the Catholic Church would one day change its position on contraception for the sake of women in developing countries. “We work very extensively with the Catholic Church and I’ve had many discussions with them because we have a shared mission around social justice and anti-poverty,” she said. She added that “I think what this Pope sees is that if you’re going to lift people out of poverty, you have to do the right thing for women….”
But John Grabowski, a professor of moral theology and ethics at Catholic University of America, said that such a change is virtually impossible. “The Church’s teaching on opposing contraception isn’t a recent teaching, it’s not something made up by Pope Paul VI in 1968,” he told the Catholic News Agency, referencing the Pope’s encyclical of nearly 50 years ago that clarified the Catholic Church’s teaching on family planning and contraception.”
Noting that the Church has addressed the issue on several occasions in recent history, Grabowski said that “this has been the teaching of the Church from its beginning, so the Church [including Pope Francis] can’t change constant, universal, authoritative teaching.”
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