Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

My Uncontroversial Idea

April 11, 2012

Last week, I gave a TEDxChange talk in Berlin, and the video is now ready for viewing here and at My argument is simple:

1. Birth control is an uncontroversial idea (practiced by a billion people) that has unfortunately become controversial.

2. As a result, hundreds of millions of the poorest families in developing countries don’t have access to contraceptives that can change their lives—and their children’s lives.

3. If we all start talking about how transformative birth control can be—and how important it has been in our own lives—we can help poor women and men empower themselves and spur large-scale economic development.

I loved getting ready for the talk over the past several months, reading up on the literature and talking to experts from several continents. It was a thrill to deliver it, finally, after so much preparation.

Now, I hope you will take over, by telling your story here. Or by sharing my talk with your friends.

On July 11 in London, our foundation and many partners are hosting something called the Family Planning Summit. I am optimistic that it will be an opportunity for the entire global community to rally together behind the uncontroversial idea that all women should be able to decide when to have a child. The more we talk about this idea with our networks, the more likely it is that we can get a global movement going that helps policymakers do the right thing.

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