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Newsweek Examines Melinda Gates’ Focus On Family Planning Issues

“[I]n an exclusive interview with Newsweek,” Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discussed how “she has decided to make family planning her signature issue and primary public health a priority.” Gates said, “My goal is to get this back on the global agenda,” the news service writes. “Gates believes that by focusing on the lives of women and children, and by making it clear that the agenda is neither coercive population control nor abortion, the controversy over international family planning programs can be defused,” according to Newsweek.

The magazine describes a history of family planning policies in the U.S. and worldwide; the foundation’s support of research looking for new contraceptive methods; Gates’ position on family planning in relation to her Catholic beliefs; and the Catholic church’s criticism of the foundation’s support of family planning and Gates’ speech on family planning last month at the TEDxChange conference. Newsweek notes that the foundation in July is “teaming up with the British government to cosponsor a summit of world leaders in London, to start raising the $4 billion the foundation says it will cost to get 120 million more women access to contraceptives by 2020” (Goldberg, 5/7).