The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation on earth - with a $53.3B endowment.
A lot has been reported on the foundations’ influence over public health institutions in the areas of vaccines and the food system. But the foundation is also heavily involved in something else: making sure poor people have less children. Or as they call it - “family planning.”
“My dad was the head of Planned Parenthood…it was very controversial,” Gates told Bill Moyers in 2003.
Melinda Gates often refers to long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCS) as a way to empower women of impoverished countries and give them more control over their lives.
However, some of these LARCS have serious irreversible adverse effects, and the wide-scale distribution of the products to young women without informed consent offers little self-determination.
One example is the drug Norplant, a contraceptive implant manufactured by Schering (now Bayer). Norplant can prevent pregnancy for up to five years - but sometimes longer.
It was yanked from the U.S. market in 2002 after more than 50,000 women filed lawsuits against the company and the doctors who prescribed it. 70 of those class action suits related to side effects such as depression, extreme nausea, scalp-hair loss, ovarian cysts, migraines, and excessive bleeding.
A human development website called Degrees, which was funded by the Gates Foundation, alleges that Norplant “never gained much traction globally” because inserting it and removing it “proved cumbersome,” not because of these debilitating and grueling side effects.
Rebranded as Jadelle, the dangerous drug was promoted in Africa by the Gates Foundation in conjunction with EngenderHealth. EngenderHealth was originally named the Sterilization League for Human Betterment. Their original mission, inspired by the pseudoscience of eugenics, was to “improve the biological stock of the human race.” Jadelle is not approved by the FDA for use in the U.S.
Then there is Pfizer’s Depo-Provera, an injectable contraceptive used in several African and Asian countries. The Gates Foundation funded this drug’s distribution and introduced it into the healthcare systems of countries including Uganda, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Bangladesh, and India.
In 2012, Melinda Gates promised to supply contraceptives like Depo-Provera, which cost between $120 and $300 a year, to at least 120 million women by 2020.
In 2017, Melinda Gates authored an article on Medium reporting that she and her partners were on track to keeping that promise and pledging $375 million in additional funds to do so. That meant that Pfizer made between $14 and $36 billion dollars through this program.
Disturbingly, Depo Provera’s active ingredient – (DMPA) – has been associated with side effects like life threatening blood clots in the lungs, blindness, and breast cancer.
In 2015, 70 Indian groups and scholars signed a statement protesting the regulatory approval of Depo-Provera in India, citing side effects like excessive bone density loss, weight gain, excessive bleeding, and depression. Their statement argued that women’s organizations have consistently opposed the introduction of dangerous contraceptives like these, and that “there are risks that the women are not given enough information about.”
Despite widespread domestic opposition and the mounting evidence of negative side effects, the Gates Foundation continues working to push drugs like Depo-Provera to women all vote the globe.
Last year, The Gates Foundation pledged another monstrous $3.1 billion to these “family planning” initiatives.
But according to media reports, these projects might be getting higher tech. According to The Washington Post, a remote-controlled contraceptive microchip implanted under the skin is the “future of medicine.”
An MIT startup, with the financial backing of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is developing a digital implant that releases birth control hormones automatically into the blood stream for as long as 16 years.
According to MIT Technology Review, the idea originated when Bill Gates visited Moderna’s co-founder, Robert Langer’s MIT lab in 2012 and asked him if it would be possible to create an implantable birth control device that could be turned on or off remotely.
Langer referred Gates to the controlled release microchip technology he had invented and licensed to company called MicroCHIPS Biotechnology. the Gates Foundation then granted $20 million to the firm to develop the contraceptive digital implants.
Technologies like these put reproductive rights of sovereign women in the hands of big tech.
Watch our report to learn more about the Foundation’s obsession with birth control and “reproductive health.”