Thursday, August 21, 2014

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Birth Control Advocate to Be Honored at St. John’s University Graduation

St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., recently announced that Hugh Evans, the CEO of Global Poverty Project and a strong proponent of birth control as a means of erasing poverty, will be honored with a doctor of laws degrees at commencement ceremonies next month, according to the Queens Chronicle.

St. John’s University Interim President Rev. Joseph Levesque reportedly said of Evans and the other commencement speaker, a television news anchor, “They are true role models who give their time and effort to worthwhile charitable organizations here in the U.S. and around the world. The Class of 2014 will hear meaningful messages from these two dynamic individuals who we hold in the highest regard.”

Hugh Evans’ support for birth control has been a major aspect of his work.

“When women do not have access to contraceptive services and information, or they are actively denied information and services, it is a violation of their human rights,” Evans once reportedly said. “222 million women in the developing world lack access to modern contraception. Of these, most live in the world’s poorest countries and lack basic information about sexual and reproductive health.”

The Global Poverty Project has received more than $3.5 million in funding from the pro-contraception Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In the pages of the Daily Beast, Evans defended his strong support for birth control.

…Giving women and girls access to reproductive health services is transformational—families become healthier, better educated, and wealthier. When girls and women have access to contraceptives they are able to plan their lives, stay in school, and escape poverty. In fact, every dollar spent on family planning can save governments up to $6 on health, housing, water, and other public services. Providing women with an education and improving their access to contraception and family planning will also have an enormous impact in decreasing the appalling numbers of orphaned, vulnerable and abandoned children. The latest UNICEF figures estimate 153 million orphans in the world, which if that were a country would be the 10th largest country in the world.

The Global Poverty Project, which Evans runs, invited condom companies “to join the fight in achieving gender equality and to take the lead in supporting increased access for contraceptive services around the world by donating two percent of profits from products sold to family planning initiatives.”

He wrote that the money raised would “go toward increasing access to contraceptives for an additional 120 million women around the world, enabling them to plan their fertility, so they can plan their lives. The funds raised through this campaign will build on the momentum from the London Summit on Family Planning in July 2012 where $2.6 billion was pledged to reduce the unmet need for contraception.”

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