Thursday, 19 July 2012

How Melinda's money might be better spent...

There is a nice article up at the Witherspoon Institute's Public Discourse site on Melinda Gates' plan to contracept the third world out of existence. 

It starts by demolishing some of the vastly inflated claims about pregnancy as a cause of teenage death in the world (the claim by Save the Children was 1 million; in fact the WHO figure is 50,000), discusses why pushing contraception is unlikely to be a successful strategy (even one accepted that it was moral), and then goes on to point out some more cost effective ways Mrs Melinda Gates could spend her money if she really wanted to help Third World women in poverty.

In particular the article suggests:
  • funding the provision of midwives, a measure that has been shown to reduce maternal mortality by 75%;
  • funding the education of women - there is a strong correlation between maternal mortality and education, partly because more educated women delay and space their pregnancies, partly because they can access health education more readily, and partly because it promotes increased responsibility for oneself; and
  • funding basic health care.
The $20 per woman, or $4.5 billion that Melinda Gates is providing for contraception would go a long way for the billion or so people who survive on less than a $1.25 a day.

Sad that over at Cath News, Ms Gates cause continues to get a positive push.

You can find another useful critique of her program over at Lifesite News news (originally published on CNS).  Don't expect to find any articles presenting the actual catholic position over at Cath News though...

1 comment:

Sharon said...

"•funding the provision of midwives, a measure that has been shown to reduce maternal mortality by 75%;"

The Hamlin Fistula Fund started with the laudable aim of helping Ethiopian village women who suffered from post obstetric (after birth)fistulas. Now unfortunately this organisation has come to the conclusion that offering these village women contraception and sterilisation will help prevent obstetric fistula. When I suggested, in a Facebook discussion, that provision of more midwives and doctors might be of more use there was silence.