EXCLUSIVE: Nuns issue statement defending billionaire contraceptive campaigner Melinda Gates
May 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A group of Ursuline nuns whom billionaire Melinda Gates had claimed in a recent speech supports her campaign to inject tens of millions of women in impoverished countries with Depo-Provera and other contraceptive drugs, has issued a statement defending Gates and the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, while simultaneously claiming to support Catholic moral teaching.
Gates recently told Newsweek that the nuns at the Ursuline Academy of Dallas, where she once attended school, were delighted to hear about her plans to initiate a global contraceptive campaign and contacted her to tell her: “We’re all for you. We know this is a difficult issue to speak on, but we absolutely believe that you’re living under Catholic values.”
“It was just so heartening,” Gates said of the phone call, which she says the Ursuline nuns made to her hotel room in Berlin, where she had just announced her intentions at a TEDxChange conference in early April.
In a statement on the matter issued yesterday to “employees, parents, students, alumnae, and other members of our school community” and obtained by LifeSiteNews.com, Academy President Margaret Ann Moser says that the nuns are “proud of Melinda French Gates, her dedication to social justice, her compassion for the underserved, and the great work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.”
“Melinda Gates leads from her conscience, and acts on her beliefs as a concerned citizen of our world,” adds Moser, explaining, “The mission of Ursuline Academy of Dallas is to educate young women for such leadership.”
While claiming that “Ursuline is committed to the moral and doctrinal teachings of the Catholic Church” and recognizing that “Melinda’s beliefs on birth control are different from those of the Catholic Church,” the sisters nonetheless say they “respect her right” to “speak from her research and experience of the world we live in.”
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The nuns do not address Gates’ claim that they endorsed her contraceptive campaign. A spokeswoman for the Ursuline Academy of Dallas told LifeSiteNews.com that “Ursuline Academy is not participating in interviews or other discussion of Ms. Gates’ remarks or the statement. The attached statement is the extent of Ursuline’s comment at this time.”
As LifeSiteNews.com reported on Tuesday, Gates says her goal is to make contraceptives available to 120 million women by 2020, using a $4 billion budget.
The injectable contraceptive favored by the Gates Foundation is Depo-Provera, which can cause early abortions by preventing a newly-conceived zygote from attaching to the uterine wall. It is also associated with numerous dangerous medical conditions, including bone loss, increased risk of blood clots, breast cancer, cervical cancer, increased herpes susceptibility, memory loss, and other disorders, many of which are acknowledged by the U.S. Food and Drug administration.
In her Newsweek interview and in her April speech at the TEDxChange conference, Gates claimed that women in Africa are clamoring to be injected with contraceptive drugs. She also says she wants to develop a class of non-hormonal contraceptive implants that permanently reside in the woman’s body and can be activated and deactivated at will. She denies she is engaging in population control and claims that her agenda has nothing to do with abortion.
When an interviewer at the Berlin TEDxChange conference asked Gates if the Ursuline nuns “are going to be horrified, or are they cheering you on?” regarding her campaign, Gates responded: “Well, I know they’re going see the TED Talk, because they know that I’m doing it, and I plan to send it to them. And, you know, the nuns who taught me were incredibly progressive.”
Diocese of Dallas
3725 Blackburn St.
Dallas, Texas 75219
Phone: (214) 528-2240
Fax: (214) 526-1743
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