Tags: Trump Administration | melinda gates | trump | contraceptives | women

Melinda Gates to Trump: 'Contraceptives Empower Women,' Don't Cut Them Off

Image: Melinda Gates to Trump: 'Contraceptives Empower Women,' Don't Cut Them Off
(Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 11 Jul 2017 12:56 PM

Melinda Gates, the philanthropist wife of billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates, says she is "deeply troubled" by President Donald Trump's planned cuts to family planning programs and unsure he is being honest in wanting to empower women.

"This is a difficult political climate for family planning. I'm deeply troubled, as I'm sure you are, by the Trump administration's proposed budget cuts," Gates said Tuesday at an international summit on family planning sponsored by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in London.

"If empowering women is more than just rhetoric for the president, he will prove it by funding family planning."

She said that among the casualties would be contraceptives, which she called "one of the greatest anti-poverty innovations the world has ever known."

"Contraceptives empower women. And empowered women . . . well, they transform societies," she said.

"My family, my career, and my life are the direct result of having access to contraceptives," Gates added, noting that she said many women around the world get pregnant "too young, too old and too often . . . 

"In Malawi, everyone I met told me they knew a woman who had died in pregnancy. In India, I sat in a circle of women and asked if anyone had lost a child. Every single woman raised her hand."

Two months ago, Trump said he would no longer allocate funding for international family planning in his proposed budget. That move came after an April decision to defund the United Nations' Population Fund.

Gates said her foundation will increase its funding for family planning by 60 percent, with an additional $375 million in the next four years.

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Melinda Gates, the philanthropist wife of billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates, says she is "deeply troubled" by President Donald Trump's planned cuts to family planning programs and unsure he is being honest in wanting to empower women."
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Tuesday, 11 Jul 2017 12:56 PM
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