Melinda Gates of the Gates Foundation has pledged a large chunk of money and announced a fund raising goal of $4 billion dollars to promote contraception education and greater use in poor countries.
Melinda Gates Launches Global Crusade for Contraception
Decades of research show, conclusively, that improving access to contraception is good for women, good for children, good for countries. Yet over the past 15 years, support for family-planning programs has plummeted. The redirection of development funds to HIV/AIDS programs explains some, but not all, of the drop. Coercive campaigns like China’s one-child policy and forced sterilizations in India have fostered suspicion about state-backed population programs. Conservative religious groups, particularly in the U.S., have tried to link family planning to forced abortion. In 2002, President George W. Bush cut funding to the U.N. Population Fund completely, turning into a bad word. The cause has yet to recover. Backing from Gates, a Catholic who is respected by conservatives and liberals alike, could turn this around….
A Johns Hopkins University published this week in a leading medical journal, the , estimates that contraceptive use prevents 272,000 maternal deaths per year. And yet, according to U.N. research, an estimated 220 million women have an for modern family planning. The Gates Foundation hopes to address this gap. If it succeeds, lives will be saved.