OpinionThu Jul 12, 2012 - 11:39 am EST
Melinda Gates’ false and dangerous solution to poverty
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.
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life.
“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September.
“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote.
Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds.
The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again.
After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five.
“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”
“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.
Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.”
“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”
“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.”
“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.”
“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born.
The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads.
The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution.
“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.
“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.
But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it.
The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”
Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.
“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms.
“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added.
Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born.
“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.
“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.
“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.
"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.
That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.
“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."
Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.
All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.
Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.
On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”
Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.
But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.