May 8, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Melinda Gates, wife of billionaire tech mogul Bill Gates, has told Newsweek magazine that she intends to spend billions of dollars on a global campaign to promote the use of artificial birth control, and highlights a type of contraception that causes abortions.
In a move that Newsweek acknowledges could cause a “firestorm” by the “Catholic right,” Gates says that she wants to raise $4 billion to supply contraceptives to 120 million more women by 2020.
Gates specifically names Depo-Provera, a hormonal contraceptive that causes abortions by preventing implantation of the newly-conceived human life in the uterine wall. Several studies have linked the controversial drug with bone loss (osteoporosis), which has earned it a “black box” warningfrom the FDA. Studies have also linked Depo-Provera with increased risk of blood clots, breast cancer, cervical cancer, increased herpes susceptibility, memory loss, and other disorders.
Claiming that Sub-Saharan African women are clamoring for Depo-Provera, Gates told Newsweek: “Women sitting on a bench, 20 of them, immediately they’ll start speaking out and saying, ‘I wish I had that injection I used to get,’” and: “‘I came to this clinic three months ago, and I got my injection. I came last week, and I couldn’t get it, and I’m here again.’”
Melinda Gates co-chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has a current endowment of $34 billion. Much of the money is already used to fund programs to supply Depo-Provera and other abortifacient hormonal contraceptives.
Although Gates claims to be a Catholic and opposed to abortion, she says that she “had to wrestle with which pieces of religion do I use and believe in my life, what would I counsel my daughters to do.”
Moreover, she claims, the Ursuline nuns at her old high school in Dallas are on her side. “We’re all for you,” she quotes them as saying. “We know this is a difficult issue to speak on, but we absolutely believe that you’re living under Catholic values.”
But Gates is not satisfied with the current generation of hormonal contraceptives. She has greater ambitions, including the creation of new, non-hormonal technologies that can be implanted permanently inside of women’s bodies, and activated and deactivated at will.
A test of Catholic Church leadership
Gates’ blatant attack on Catholic sexual morality will provide a test of the Church’s leadership on the issue. According to New York Cardinal Dolan, in recent decades Catholic clergy have been hesitant to teach and defend Catholic doctrine on a variety of sensitive subjects, including artificial birth control. “We have gotten gun-shy . . . in speaking with any amount of cogency on chastity and sexual morality,” Dolan told the Wall Street Journal in late March.
Despite the upsurge in public presentation of Church teaching on sexual morality in recent years, few Catholic public figures have been censured for their public rejection of Catholic doctrine on such matters. The bishops’ response to Gates’ massive contraceptive campaign could be a turning point in the struggle to restore discipline within the ranks of the Church.
Whatever the outcome with regard to the Catholic hierarchy, Newsweek’s Michelle Goldberg notes that the political and cultural environment faced by Gates is increasingly hostile to her claim that the health problems of poor women are to be blamed on their children, rather than the lack of adequate health care services.
Statistics produced in the last forty years by the World Health Organization tend to belie the conception that poverty is caused by rapid population increases. The poverty rate in Africa has fallen substantially since 1995, despite the highest birth rate of all the regions of the world.
Despite the increasingly controversial nature of contraceptive “foreign aid” programs and the population-control agenda of wealthy American foundations, Gates has created a website called “No Controversy” (nocontroversy.tedxchange.org), which seeks to convince the reader that such programs are not controversial at all. One of the site’s partners is the International Planned Parenthood Federation, one of several pro-abortion organizations on the list, as well as the United Nations Population Fund, which helps to administer China’s coercive “one child policy.”
“There is no controversy in raising your voice for equal access,” Gates assures readers, and asks them to “share your story” about how “contraceptives changed your life.”