The following comes from a July 8 story on LifeSiteNews.com.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the development of a contraceptive microchip that can be remotely controlled to release hormones that can act as abortifacients into a woman’s body for up to 16 years. Both the chip’s potential to take a life and the potential privacy concerns have drawn criticism.
The chip, which measures 20 x 20 x 7 millimeters, can be implanted under the skin of a woman’s buttocks, upper arm, or abdomen in 30 minutes. The device contains a 16-year reservoir of the drug levonorgestrel, releasing 30 micrograms a day – but the dosage can be altered by remote control, as well.
The technology was originally intended, and tested, to release osteoporosis medication in elderly women, but Dr. Robert Langer of MIT changed his focus to contraception after a personal discussion with Bill Gates. Gavin Corley, a biomedical engineer, told the BBC the technology could be used to achieve contraceptive targets in the developing world, indicating “a humanitarian application as opposed to satisfying a first-world need.”
The announcement comes as the Gates Foundation is spearheading an international, multi-billion-dollar push for expanding birth control in the developing world, bringing charges from pro-life and political that they are engaged in global population control. In June, Melinda Gates wrote that the foundation “has decided not to fund abortion” as part of its efforts.
But numerous studies have indicated that levonorgestrel, the hormone used both by this chip and the morning after pill, has a strong anti-implantation effect, meaning it acts in part by preventing a newly-conceived embryo from implanting in the uterus. One study found the hormone only has an “effectiveness rate” of 49 percent when blocking ovulation alone.
“Administration of dangerous hormonal contraceptive drugs, whether through new technologies or traditional oral methods, should not be considered a boon for women’s health, as the serious risks of these drugs are better known every day,” Fr. Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International, told LifeSiteNews.com.
“Our concerns are only heightened when we see reporters promoting this effort of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation without mention of the harm done to women by other versions of these drugs, as if this only promises good health and empowerment for women,” he added.
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