My Gender Across Borders piece on the Gates Foundation’s problematic failure to address abortion issues in their sexual and reproductive health funding strategy has been quoted in an On the Issues article by a friend and respected colleague, Marcy Bloom. In her powerful piece, titled Health Inequality: Gates Foundation Bans Abortion, Ms. Bloom calls unsafe abortion a form of violence against women and scoffs at the idea that the Gates Foundation can remain “neutral” on the issue of abortion. An excerpt is below, full article available here.
Bill and Melinda Gates are undoubtedly aware of these realities of women’s unequal lives. The end result of their “neutrality” is but one choice for women and girls who become pregnant. That one choice equals no choice.
Allowing the further stigmatization of abortion validates and strengthens the belligerent anti-choice movement.
But the power and influence of the foundation go further. Because of its prestige, size and assets, the foundation is central to “setting the sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda around the world,” in the words of policy researcher and writer Brook Elliott-Buettner in Gender Across Borders.
Whatever the intent, the Gates Foundation is establishing, even distorting, the direction of investments by other foundations, individuals and even governments. Although Bill and Melinda Gates have the right to spend their money as they wish, it is also true that their inordinate power in determining universal health agendas demands accountability.