July 31, 2012 ( – The Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano newspaper has published an article attacking Melinda Gates’ recently-launched campaign to distribute contraceptives to African women, saying that it is based on “an unfounded and second-rate understanding” of the issue.

Click here for full translation of article.

The article, written by Italian journalist Giulia Galeotti, and titled “Birth control and disinformation: The risks of philanthropy,” notes that Melinda Gates has expressed “anguish” over her new initiative, due to the conflict it creates with the Catholic hierarchy. It adds that Gates is apparently unaware of the reliability of the Billings Ovulation Method (BOM) – a moral and completely free family planning method – for spacing births.


Unlike contraception, the Billings method allows women to avoid conception by abstaining from sexual intercourse during the more fertile part of the month, and has no adverse health effects. The method is endorsed by the Catholic Church when used to avoid children for serious reasons. Galeotti notes that the method is so reliable that the Chinese government is encouraging its citizens to use it.


“An example, little known but striking, of the success of BOM has been its adoption in China,” writes Galeotti. “The communist government of Peking was very interested in a method of regulation that cost nothing and didn’t damage the health of the woman, a method considered 98% reliable.”

However, the “original and unpardonable sin,” of BOM is that ” it is completely free, an aspect that, evidently, makes it very unpopular with the pharmaceutical industry, which, through chemical contraceptives, obtains enormous profits, as will others thanks to the philanthropy of Mrs. Gates.”

Galeotti warns that if Gates persists in “disinformation, presenting things in a false manner,” she “runs the risk” of falling into the kind of corporate exploitation carried out by Nestlé, which distributes powdered milk to pregnant women free, then charges them for it once they cease to produce breast milk, and pressures them with advertising portraying breastfeeding as “barbaric.”