Denise J. Hunnell, MD

Melinda Gates’ false and dangerous solution to poverty

Denise J. Hunnell, MD
By Denise Hunnell MD

July 12, 2012 (HLIAmerica.org) - Empowering women, reducing poverty and improving the overall health and well-being of women and children are noble goals. As with all great visions, however, the devil is in the details. Melinda Gates claims that the key to reducing poverty is to flood the developing world with contraceptives and abortifacients.

A cornerstone of this effort is the development of a new injectable contraceptive that would be analogous to the currently available medroxyprogesterone acetate also known as DMPA, or by its brand name Depo-Provera. Unlike Depo Provera, which requires an intramuscular injection and must be administered by a medical professional, this new form is a self-administered subcutaneous injection. Ms. Gates hopes that her efforts will bring contraception to at least an additional 120 million women worldwide, with the primary focus being in sub-Saharan African and South Asia.

But what exactly is Ms. Gates offering these women? Her “solution” will result in the death of countless newly conceived children, it may double the transmission rates of HIV and it will certainly increase the risks for breast cancer. In addition, progestin-only contraceptives are associated with a significant risk for blood clots and strokes.

There are two mechanisms of action for injectable contraceptives like Depo Provera to prevent pregnancy. The first is to prevent ovulation so that conception does not occur. However, if this mechanism is unsuccessful and conception does occur, Depo Provera keeps the lining of the uterus so thin that implantation will not occur. The result is that the newly conceived life is aborted.

In promoting her cause, Ms. Gates links her efforts to expand contraceptive use to the fight against HIV/AIDS. However, use of an injectable contraception offers no protection against HIV transmission. In fact, researchers from the University of Washington studied women in Africa and found that the use of DMPA doubled the transmission rates of HIV. They cited three mechanisms to account for this increase. First, the hormonal contraceptives cause the vaginal lining to thin and develop small tears that increase the exposure to HIV during sex. Secondly, the hormonal contraceptives weaken the immune system and reduce a woman’s ability to repel HIV infection. Finally, women who are HIV positive and take hormonal contraceptives shed more HIV virus, making them more infectious.

Clearly, increased use of an injectable hormonal contraceptive is not going to help the fight against AIDS.

Hormonal contraceptives are also associated with a significantly increased risk of breast cancer. In a 2012 study published in the Journal of Cancer Research, researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center looked specifically at DMPA and found that it doubled the risk of breast cancer. Pushing for expanded use of a drug that doubles the breast cancer risk in developing countries with limited capacity for routine screening for breast cancer is illogical and borders on reckless. So why would the Gates Foundation advocate such a medically risky solution to the poverty of developing countries?

The strategy overview offered by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation provides some insight into their motivation:

By 2050, the global population is expected to grow to over 9 billion people, an increase of more than 50 percent over 2005 levels. This growth will only exacerbate the current health inequities for women and children, put pressure on social services and resources, and contribute significantly to the global burden of disease, environmental degradation, poverty, and conflict. Family planning is one of the best investments a country can make in its future.

This effort is just another iteration of the Malthusian principles that have been around since the nineteenth century. Concerns about overpopulation lead to efforts to limit the fertility of those deemed “undesirable.” Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger pushed contraception on African-American communities to limit their growth. Likewise, the Gates Foundation sees contraception as way to limit the population of the impoverished people of Africa and Asia.

Improving the health and well-being of women does not depend on increased availability and use of contraception. No professional medical association recommends the routine use of hormonal contraceptives in healthy women as a means of preventing disease or maintaining good health because of the significant risks associated with their use.

On the other hand, women are empowered when they are educated. A longitudinal review of women in Chile over a fifty-year period found that the most critical factor in improving maternal health and in reducing both maternal and infant mortality was better education, not contraceptives.

The answer to poverty must be grounded in respecting the dignity of impoverished peoples – not in eliminating them. Both men and women need to be educated in order to contribute to the public discussion and formulation of social policy, and this should include education in the harmful effects of the drugs Ms. Gates is proposing be used to lower fertility in the developing world. Motherhood should be considered a valuable vocation and not a drain on society. Only then can the real roots of poverty be addressed.

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Denise Hunnell, MD, is a Fellow of Human Life International, and writes for HLI’s Truth and Charity Forum. This article appeared on CNSNews.com and is reprinted with permission.

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A Planned Parenthood facility in Denver, Colorado
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Colorado judge tosses suit alleging Planned Parenthood used state funds to pay for abortions

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By Dustin Siggins

Alliance Defending Freedom "will likely appeal" a Monday court decision dismissing their suit alleging Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains illegally used state funds to pay for abortions, an ADF lawyer told LifeSiteNews.

The ADF lawsuit claims that $1.4 million went from state government agencies to a Planned Parenthood abortion affiliate through Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

Denver County District Court Judge Andrew McCallin dismissed the case on the basis that ADF could not prove the funds paid for abortions. But ADF maintains that funding an abortion facility is indirectly paying for abortions, which violates state law.

ADF senior counsel Michael Norton -- whose wife, former Colorado Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton, filed the lawsuit – told LifeSiteNews that "no one is above the law, including Colorado politicians who are violating our state’s constitution by continuing to fund Planned Parenthood’s abortion business with state taxpayer dollars."

"The State of Colorado even acknowledges that about $1.4 million of state taxpayer dollars flowed from Colorado government agencies through Planned Parenthood to its abortion affiliate. The Denver court seems to have agreed with that fact and yet granted motions to dismiss based on a technicality," said Norton.

According to Colorado law, "no public funds shall be used by the State of Colorado, its agencies or political subdivisions to pay or otherwise reimburse, either directly or indirectly, any person, agency or facility for the performance of any induced abortion." There is a stipulation that allows for "the General Assembly, by specific bill, [to] authorize and appropriate funds to be used for those medical services necessary to prevent the death of either a pregnant woman or her unborn child under circumstances where every reasonable effort is made to preserve the life of each."

According to court documents, the Colorado law was affirmed by state voters in 1984, with an appeal attempt rejected two years later. In 2001, an outside legal firm hired by Jane Norton -- who was lieutenant governor at the time -- found that Planned Parenthood was "subsidizing rent" and otherwise providing financial assistance to Planned Parenthood Services Corporation, an abortion affiliate. After the report came out, and Planned Parenthood refused to disassociate itself from the abortion affiliate, the state government stopped funding Planned Parenthood.

Since 2009, however, that has changed, which is why the lawsuit is filed against Planned Parenthood, and multiple government officials, including Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

According to ADF legal counsel Natalie Decker, the fact that Planned Parenthood sent funds to the abortion affiliate should have convinced McCallin of the merits of the case. "The State of Colorado and the Denver court acknowledged that about $1.4 million of state taxpayer dollars, in addition to millions of 'federal' tax dollars, flowed from Colorado government agencies through Planned Parenthood to its abortion affiliate," said Decker.

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"Without even having the facts of the case developed, the Denver court seems to have granted motions to dismiss filed by the State of Colorado and Planned Parenthood on grounds the term 'indirectly' could not mean what Ms. Norton and Governor Owens said it meant in 2002 when they defunded Planned Parenthood."

"That, of course, is the plain meaning of Colo. Const., Art. V, § 50 which was implemented by the citizens of Colorado, and the reason for Ms. Norton’s lawsuit."

Decker told LifeSiteNews that "Colorado law is very clear," and that the state law "prohibits Colorado tax dollars from being used to directly or indirectly pay for induced abortions."

She says her client "has been denied the opportunity to fully develop the facts of the case and demonstrate exactly what the Colorado tax dollars have been used for." Similarly, says Decker, it is not known "exactly what those funds were used for. At this time, there is simply no way to conclude that tax dollars have not been used to directly pay for abortions or abortion inducing drugs and devices."

"What we do know is that millions of Colorado tax dollars have flowed through Planned Parenthood to its abortion affiliate, which leads to the inescapable conclusion that those tax dollars are being used to indirectly pay for abortions."

A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains did not return multiple requests for comment about the lawsuit.

The dismissal comes as Planned Parenthood fights an investigation by the state's Republican attorney general over a video by Live Action, as well as a lawsuit by a mother whose 13-year old daughter had an abortion in 2012 that she alleges was covered up by Planned Parenthood. The girl, who was being abused by her stepfather, was abused for months after the abortion.

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Fledgling high-tech pro-life group marks 2,000 babies saved: 2-3 saved per day

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Online for Life, the Dallas-based pro-life marketing agency, saved its two-thousandth unborn baby earlier this year and is well on its way to saving its three thousandth by 2015.

“We are getting better all the time at what we do,” says founder Brian Fisher. “It used to be one baby saved every four to six weeks and now its two or three a day.”

But the most significant save? “It was the very first one,” he says, recalling the phone call from a crisis centre a month after OFL’s 2012 startup.  “And for me personally it was just a massive turning point … because [of] all the work and the money and testing and the volunteers and everything that led up to that moment. All the frustration of that was washed away in an instant because a child had been rescued that was about to be killed.”

Though increasing market savvy has led Online for Life to expand offline, the core of the non-profit, donor-financed operation remains SEO -- search engine optimization -- targeting young women who have just discovered they are pregnant and gone onto the Web to find the nearest abortion clinic.

Instead, they find the nearest crisis pregnancy center at the top of their results page. Since OFL went online it has linked with a network of 41 such centers, including two of its own it started this year, in a positive feedback loop that reinforces effective messaging first at the level of the Web, then at the first telephone call between the clinic and the pregnant woman, and finally at the first face-to-face meeting.

“Testing is crucial,” says Fisher. “We test everything we do.” Early on, Online for Life insisted the clinics it served have an ultrasound machine, because the prevailing wisdom in the prolife movement was that “once they saw their baby on ultrasound, they would drop the idea of having an abortion.” While the organization still insists on the ultrasound, its own testing and feedback from the CPCs indicates that three quarters of the women they see already have children. “They’ve already seen their own children on ultrasound and are still planning to abort.” So ultrasound images have lost their punch.

OFL has had to move offline to reach a significant minority who have neither computers, tablets, or cell phones.  Traditional electronic media spots as well as bus ads and billboards carry the message to them.

As well, says Fisher, “unwanted pregnancy used to be a high-school age problem; now that’s gone down in numbers and the average age of women seeking abortion has gone up to 24.” By that age, he says, they are “thoroughly conditioned by the abortion culture. Even before they got pregnant, they have already decided they would have an abortion if they did get pregnant.”

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What they need—and fast, in the first two minutes of the first phone call—is sympathy, support, and a complete absence of judgement. Online for Life is always gathering information from its network on what responses are most effective—and this can vary city to city. The organization offers training to clinic volunteers and staff that stresses a thorough knowledge of the services on tap. “Any major city has all sorts of services—housing, education, health—available,” says Fisher.

The problem that OFL was designed to address was the crisis pregnancy centers’ market penetration. Three percent of women with unwanted pregnancies were reaching out to the CPCs, and seven per cent of those who did reach out were having their babies. “So about 2.1 children were being saved for every 1,000 unwanted pregnancies,” says Fisher. “That’s not nearly enough.”

So Fisher and two fellow volunteers dreamed of applying online marketing techniques to the problem in 2009. Three years later Fisher was ready to leave his executive position at an online marketing agency to go full-time with the life-saving agency. Now they have 63 employees, most of them devoted to optimizing the penetration in each of the markets served by their participating crisis centers.

The results speak for themselves. Where OFL has applied its techniques, especially with its own clinics, as many as 15-18 percent of the targeted population of women seeking abortions get directed to nearby crisis pregnancy centers. “It depends on the centres’ budgets and on how many volunteers they have to be on the phones through the day and night,” he says. “But we are going to push it higher. We hope to save our 2,500th child by the end of the year.”

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Shock: UK mom abandons disabled daughter, keeps healthy son after twin surrogacy

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By Pete Baklinski

A UK woman who is the biological mother of twins born from a surrogate mom, has allegedly abandoned one of the children because she was born with a severe muscular condition, while taking the girl's healthy sibling home with her.

The surrogate mother, also from the UK — referred to as "Jenny" to protect her identity — revealed to The Sun the phone conversation that took place between herself and the biological mother over the fate of the disabled girl.

“I remember her saying to me, “She’d be a f****** dribbling cabbage! Who would want to adopt her? No one would want to adopt a disabled child,’” she said.

Jenny, who has children of her own, said she decided to become a surrogate to “help a mother who couldn’t have children.” She agreed to have two embryos implanted in her womb and to give birth for £12,000 ($20,000 USD).

With just six weeks to the due date, doctors told Jenny she needed an emergency caesarean to save the babies. It was not until a few weeks after the premature births that the twin girl was diagnosed with congenital myotonic dystrophy.

When Jenny phoned the biological mother to tell her of the girl’s condition, the mother rejected the girl.

Jenny has decided along with her partner to raise the girl. They have called her Amy.

“I was stunned when I heard her reject Amy,” Jenny said. “She had basically told me that she didn’t want a disabled child.”

Jenny said she felt “very angry” towards the girl’s biological parents. "I hate them for what they did.”

The twins are now legally separated. A Children and Family Court has awarded the healthy boy to the biological mother and the disabled girl to her surrogate.

The story comes about two weeks after an Australian couple allegedly abandoned their surrogate son in Thailand after he was born with Down syndrome, while taking the healthy twin girl back with them to Australia.

Rickard Newman, director of Family Life, Pro-Life & Child and Youth Protection in the Diocese of Lake Charles, called the Australian story a “tragedy” that “results from a marketplace that buys and sells children.”

“Third-party reproduction is a prism for violations against humanity. IVF and the sperm trade launched a wicked industry that now includes abortion, eugenics, human trafficking, and deliberate family fragmentation,” he said. 

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