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Melinda Gates, “practising Catholic”, on birth control

April 23rd, 2012

by Carolyn Moynihan

Melinda Gates was holding forth at a conference in Berlin earlier this month about the necessity of universal access to contraception in the developing world, claiming that it is the only way that 200 million people who do not already have “access” will have a choice about how many children they will have and when.

Mrs Gates was one of five speakers on a TEDxChange platform addressing an international audience on global health and development issues. Her 20-minute address, on video as a TED Talk, is linked to the Gates Foundation’s “No controversy” campaign to get the global birth control juggernaut on track again after the slow-down imposed by the Bush administration and the diversion of resources over the last couple of decades to AIDS work. A page on the TEDxChange website informs us:

This July 11, the Government of the United Kingdom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will bring together governments, philanthropies, businesses, and global citizens to address the need for increased support for family planning tools. The goal is to deliver more modern family planning tools to more women in the world’s poorest countries.

On the same page Twitter and Facebook messages from women singing the praises of contraception roll across continuously — responses to the question, “How have contraceptives change your life?” As far as I can see there are no messages from women caught up in the cervical cancer epidemic, the breast cancer epidemic, the ones who had abortions because their contraception failed, the ones who are single in their 30s because its so easy for men to walk away from a sterile woman, the African women who contracted HIV while using injectable contraception, and their men…

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