Melinda Gates / Gates Foundation funding contraception

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Melinda Gates / Gates Foundation funding contraception

Postby Mathmo » Tue May 8, 5:16 2012

A story a friend of mine shared on Facebook: Melinda Gates is planning (through the Gates Foundation) to work on making contraception available worldwide. Awesome!

Articles: ... ealth.html ... ority.html

From the first article:
Visiting vaccine programs in sub-Saharan Africa, Gates would often ask women at remote clinics what else they needed. Very often, she says, they would speak urgently about birth control. “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,’” says Gates. “‘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.’”

They were talking about Depo-Provera, which is popular in many poor countries because women need to take it only four times a year, and because they can hide it, if necessary, from unsupportive husbands.

Women would tell her that they’d left their farms and walked for hours, sometimes with children in tow, often without the knowledge of their husbands, in their fruitless search for the shot. “I was just stunned by how vociferous women were about what they wanted,” she says.

I think this is really interesting (and important) - the ability of women to get access to contraception where they and their partners may not agree. Of course ideally all parties involved would agree on reproductive issues, but real life doesn't always work that neatly ...

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Re: Melinda Gates / Gates Foundation funding contraception

Postby Sonic# » Tue May 8, 7:14 2012

The first article illustrates pretty well the areas of debates over contraception. Family planning is sold as a way to avoid Malthusian catastrophe. At least two countries (China and India) take contraception too far and force it upon people, leading to cries from women's-rights groups and others. The United States under Reagan prohibits government funding of family planning groups that advocate for abortion. In like mind, conservatives, especially today, paint both China/India and the women's-rights groups with the same brush, seeing contraception as an avoidance of conjugal duties. (How sentimental!) The Malthusian threat falls, but worries linger over population age (as a comment demonstrates). The Gates Foundation seeks to step into the gap left by the United States.

I hope they hit the 200 or so million people they hope to reach.

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Re: Melinda Gates / Gates Foundation funding contraception

Postby Tookie » Tue May 8, 8:07 2012

She flew in one of my professors, who is a historian of contraception, to talk about how contraception has been coercively administered in the past, and my prof was pretty impressed with her initiative.
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