Vatican City, Jul 30, 2012 / 19:31 pm
Vatican daily L'Osservatore Romano has published an article sharply criticizing the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for securing $4.6 billion dollars over the next eight years to promote contraceptives, starting in Africa.
In her July 29 front-page story, reporter Giulia Galeotti said Melinda Gates, who self-identifies as Catholic, "has gone astray."
Gates, the wife of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, helped organize a July 11 summit to garner funding pledges for family planning in Africa and southeast Asia. Summit attendees included African heads of state and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a video for the event, whose NGO partners include abortion providers like the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International.
In her article, Galeotti argued that in her attempts to push contraception in developing countries, Gates "is confused by a misinformation and by issues that persist in this area."
"To still believe in a Catholic Church that, through opposition to the condom, allows women and children to die because of misogynous intransigence is an unfounded and offensive interpretation," she underscored.
Galeotti noted that "as Paul VI wrote in Humanae Vitae (perhaps the most notorious victim of this kind of false information), the Church is in favor of the natural regulation of fertility, that is, the methods based on the interpretation of the body's signs and indicators."
She pointed to the research of the Australian couple, John and Evelyn Billings, who discovered the natural method knowing as the Billings Ovulation Method.
"It allows women to determine whether or not they are fertile, and based on this determination they can choose their sexual behavior," she said.
Galeotti noted that the Chinese government has promoted the Billings Method with great success in its search to find a method that is free and does not endanger the health of women.
She rejected the skepticism towards the Billings Method – which has a 98 percent accuracy rate – by those who claim it is unscientific or naïve, adding that baseless accusations are probably not spread by coincidence. Galoetti noted that the method is easy to learn and practice, even by people who are illiterate, and does not require help from third parties.
Another "inconvenient" fact about it is that is completely free and thus deprives the pharmaceutical industry of profits from chemical contraceptives.
Although every foundation is free to donate to whatever cause it wishes, it is not free "to persist in misinformation and present things in a false way," Galeotti said.