Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates, said the couple's philanthropic organization "has decided not to fund abortion."
The co-founder of the Bill & Melina Gates Foundation, which supports international family planning and anti-poverty initiatives, said that while the organization wants to focus on newborn and child health initiatives, she feels the issue of abortion is a matter that should not be considered under the same umbrella, CNS News reported
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"[I]n the United States and around the world the emotional and personal debate about abortion is threatening to get in the way of the lifesaving consensus regarding basic family planning," Gates, a Catholic, said in a statement on the foundation's website earlier this month.
She said she did not wish to discuss her personal views about the issue publicly, but that "the Gates Foundation has decided not to fund abortion," according to CNS.
"I understand that the abortion debate will continue, but conflating it with the consensus on so many of the things we need to do to keep women healthy is a mistake," Gates said.
"We have made such great progress for women on prenatal care, on providing the contraceptives that they want, and on encouraging proper care and nutrition for newborns, and we need to keep moving forward. The only way to do that is to be clear, focused, and committed."
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation currently has an endowment of $40.2 billion, according to CNS, and supports programs and projects in more than 100 countries.
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