The Gates' birth control push is a nuclear salvo in the culture wars
Lots of buzz about the world's richest couple shifting their considerable weight behind a push to make birth control more accessible in the poorest countries. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is spearheading the fundraising campaign by world leaders to raise $4 billion. The money would provide contraceptives for an additional 120 million women worldwide.
Sounds great, except birth control is second only to abortion in being a topic guaranteed to send many religious and social conservatives into an apoplectic rage. Expect vociferous opposition from the Catholic Church, a voice amplfied by its huge presence in many of the African and Southeast Asian countries targeted by Gates Foundation initiatives.
And expect Congress to turn its attention away from jobs and the economy to return a few salvos in the culture wars. Former president Bill Clinton famously lifted a ban on aid for international birth control efforts. But the battle is reignited during foreign aid re-authorization bill debates and at times like now, when a powerful couple reminds us that we remain Puritanically insane about efforts to control reproduction.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
Postman On Politics