The Trump administration proposals Melinda Gates says she’s ‘deeply troubled’ by

Gates Foundation Co-Chair Melinda Gates (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, philanthropist Melinda Gates stood before the audience at her London summit for international family planning and called for change — specifically that contraception and the broad application of family planning education and services be made a global priority. Already having raised $1.5 billion in financial commitments from countries in Africa and Asia, Gates’s message is more pertinent than ever.

President Trump recently announced his intentions to end both funding to the U.N. Population Fund which deals with global health and reproductive services as well as reinstate the Mexico City policy, which requires NGOs to “neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations” in order to receive federal funding. Trump’s current plan is to expand the parameters of the policy, restricting NGO’s further receiving foreign funding as well and further hindering their ability to perform safe, legal abortions. Gates said on Tuesday that she is “deeply troubled” by the planned cuts.

“If empowering women is more than just rhetoric for the president, he will prove it by funding family planning,” Gates said. She added that she believes contraceptives are “one of the greatest anti-poverty innovations the world has ever known” and access to birth control bolsters the world economy as it allows women to work and helps control the size of families. As one of the beneficiaries of birth control, Gates understands the advantages all too well. “My family, my career, my life as I know it are because I had access to … contraceptives.” Current estimates suggest that providing adequate family planning services could help avoid 67 million unwanted pregnancies and save the lives of more than 76,000 women.

Read the full story at Reuters.


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