Melinda Gates is on a mission to help women around the world decide when and if they have children.
"What I'm trying to do is bend the curve," the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said in an interview with Walt Mossberg at the Code Conference on Wednesday morning, joined by her husband, Bill Gates.
That curve represents the pace of getting 110 million more women around the world access to birth control, which given current trends would take until 2035. Melinda Gates says the foundation is trying to shorten that to 2020.
"I have really gone all in on family planning," she said. If a woman has voluntary access to contraception and can choose when she becomes pregnant, "you don’t commit her to a life of poverty."If you saw my post about the Gates Foundation CEO's report, then you know that I am very happy with this confirmation of the Foundation's goals. Contraception can save the lives of children already born, and can save the lives of mothers themselves. Indeed, a report published in the Lancet a few months ago noted that the global drop in maternal mortality was well short of the UN goals. Unplanned and unwanted pregnancies represent one reason for this, especially if they end up leading to an unsafe abortion. Preventing births and saving lives go together, and they are part of the long-term recipe for saving the planet.