CNN) – Responding to simmering controversy among Catholic bloggers about her new birth control program, Melinda Gates – a practicing Catholic – said she will not shrink from her role as an advocate for poor women.
“Part of what I do with the (Gates) Foundation comes from that incredible social justice I had growing up and belief that all lives, all lives are of equal value,” said Gates during a recent interview with CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
About the flak over her Catholicism she said: “We’re not going to agree about everything, but that’s OK.”
Gates is promoting an ambitious family planning program – which includes raising billions of dollars to provide contraceptives to 120 million women worldwide – at the London Summit on Family Planning July 11.
While most Catholics, in the United States, at least, according to polls, seem to agree with Gates that contraception for women is not controversial, some Catholic bloggers are taking issue with the plan.
One blog in particular, LifeSiteNews.com, has frequently published diatribes against Gates, calling into question her faith, and calling her plan a “blatant attack on Catholic sexual morality.”
As far as the broader Catholic church stance on the Gates program, CNN requested a comment from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, but did not get a response.
My Take: Catholic bishops against the common good
For her part, Gates is trying to deflect the controversy, and concentrate on what she describes as a real need for contraception to empower women.
“I think we made birth control and contraceptives way too political in the United States,” said Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “I think if people understood that 200 million women want this around the world they would start to say, ‘OK that makes sense.’ … We shouldn’t make it such a political issue.”
My two cents:
Empower women Its funny how birth control and abortion come down to empowering women. As if the gift of life is some how causes a severe loss in the dignity of and respect for women.