Melinda Gates, of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has announced that her international family planning foundation will no longer fund abortion because she believes abortion and family planning have become “conflated.”
Gates, wife of the Microsoft founder and a self-professed Catholic, said in a statement on the foundation’s website, titled Impatient Optimists, that she grew concerned about the intertwining of family planning and abortion recently when she was interviewed in Toronto. Though reporters asked her about the Gates Foundation’s newborn and child health initiatives, she said, “every journalist also focused on Canada’s policy on abortion.”
“Let me tell you why this worries me,” she said.
“Around the world there is a deep, broad, and powerful consensus: We should provide all women the information and tools to time and space their pregnancies in a safe and healthy way that works for them,” Gates explained. “This approach is simple, it works, and it saves lives.”
The question of abortion should be dealt with separately. But in the United States and around the world the emotional and personal debate about abortion is threatening to get in the way of the lifesaving consensus regarding basic family planning.
I understand why there is so much emotion, but conflating these issues will slow down progress for tens of millions of women. That is why when I get asked about my views on abortion, I say that, like everyone, I struggle with the issue, but I’ve decided not to engage on it publicly–and the Gates Foundation has decided not to fund abortion.
“I understand that the abortion debate will continue, but conflating it with the consensus on so many of the things we need to do to keep women healthy is a mistake,” she said. “We have made such great progress for women on prenatal care, on providing the contraceptives that they want, and on encouraging proper care and nutrition for newborns, and we need to keep moving forward. The only way to do that is to be clear, focused, and committed.”
As CNS News reports, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation currently has an endowment of $40.2 billion and supports international family planning programs, providing grants in the United States and in over 100 other nations. The foundation has also recently been regularly in the news in the United States as the primary source of funding for the Common Core standards, an education initiative for which it partnered with the federal government for the purpose of closing the achievement gap between low income and minority students and those who live in suburbs.
The Gates Foundation has together awarded the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood of Western Washington, and other Planned Parenthood affiliates approximately $71 million in grants from prior to 2009 and through 2013.
In addition, the Gates Foundation partners with organizations such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), which has helped to administer China’s “one child policy.” In turn, UNPF partners with the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
In May of 2013, Breitbart News reported that Melinda Gates, then-HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart were speakers at the international “Women Deliver” conference in Kuala Lumpur.
In 2012, Gates said that, by the year 2020, she hoped to be able to raise $4 billion to supply contraceptives, particularly Depo-Provera, to 120 million more women.