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Melinda Gates steps up contraception push

"I didn't fully appreciate how much contraceptives changed my life because I never lacked access to them," Melinda Gates says in a new editorial kicking off her global push for contraception. (AP Photo/File)

Bill and Melinda Gates are stepping up their efforts to
promote contraception around the world.

“I didn’t fully appreciate how much contraceptives changed
my life because I never lacked access to them,” Melinda
Gates writes in a
for CNN.

Gates is leading a new campaign that will launch Wednesday,
bringing world leaders, non-governmental organizations,
donors, business leaders, and others together in London to
pledge their support to “help transform the lives of the
world’s poorest women and girls.”

The Seattle-based Gates Foundation has launched an online signature drive titled “Contraceptives are not

“There is no controversy in empowering women to decide if
and when to have a child. Today, more than 200 million
women and girls in developing countries who don’t want to
get pregnant lack access to contraceptives,” says the
pledge, which is featured on a dedicated site that
includes a number of stories in support of contraception
from women around the world.

I’m passionate about family planning because when I travel
and talk to women in developing countries, what’s
universally clear is that they demand access to
contraceptives. They want the power to determine their
future. They know that when they can decide when they have
children, they are healthier, their children are
healthier, their families are more successful and their
communities are more prosperous.

“Access to contraceptives saves lives and leads to
healthier, more prosperous families, communities and
nations. Surely, there is no controversy in raising your
voice for millions of women and girls who want access to
lifesaving contraceptives,” Gates writes.

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