Melinda Gates, who with her husband gives millions to pay for women’s health care, says that the Gates Foundation will not fund abortion internationally because it isn’t “health care.” From the World story:
Abortion should not be confused with women’s healthcare, philanthropist Melinda Gates wrote on June 2 in a blog post applauded by pro-lifers around the world. Gates, a long-time supporter of international women’s health, wrote the comments following a two week trip to Geneva, London, Berlin, and Toronto. Gates and her husband, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, have declined to fund abortion through their philanthropic organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Instead, the organization focuses on making contraceptives available to 120 million poor women.
“We should provide all women the information and tools to time and space their pregnancies in a safe and healthy way that works for them,” Gates wrote. “This approach is simple, it works, and it saves lives. The question of abortion should be dealt with separately.”
Gates is absolutely right. A normal pregnancy is not a disease. A fetus is not a tumor.
Abortion that ends a healthy pregnancy is not health care, nor is fetus killing in such circumstances a medical act. It is what I call a “consumerist” procedure that uses medical means for a non-medical purpose.
If the “international community” would go along with Gates’ wisdom, many policy conflicts over family planning–which need not involve contraception, allowing devout Catholic couples to participate–would go away. Such a separation would substantially benefit the poor women of the world because it would allow those with implacably different views on the matter of abortion to row in the same direction.