By Paul Tuns

An American pro-life group is declaring a partial victory against Microsoft founder Bill Gates one year after beginning an education campaign directed at the billionaire’s funding of population control programs.

From September to November 1999, the American Life League (ALL) ran ads, entitled Windows to the Truth, in the Eastside Journal in suburban Seattle, as part of their Educate Bill Gates campaign to urge him to end his funding of population control programs through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

According to an ALL press release at the beginning of the campaign, “each ad highlights a different fact about the current status of global population and the real effects of so-called population control.” They pointed to specific questionable programs the Foundation funded through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and International Planned Parenthood and set the record straight about the so-called overpopulation problem.

In an August 2000 ad, ALL points to Microsoft’s anti-trust legal troubles since the campaign to educate and pray for Gates began. The new ad says, “Some people will believe this sudden reversal of fortune – not to mention loss of fortune – is mere coincidence and has nothing to do with prayer,” before concluding, “But then, some people will believe anything before they’ll believe there’s a real God for whom even the tiniest human being is far more precious than the greatest earthly treasure.”

Scott Weinberg, media director for ALL, told The Interim that they do not rejoice in Gates’s recent misfortunes and all they wanted was to dissuade him from funding “radical population elimination programs.”

Weinberg said Gates needs to be educated about some of the programs he funds because of their deadly and often brutal nature. He cites in particular UNFPA’s work in Kosovo at the behest of Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic, a Planned Parenthood campaign of forced sterilizations in Central Africa where uncooperative women are being knocked unconscious before the operation, and the use of “death squads” in forced sterilizations by Profamilia in the Dominican Republic, all programs funded by the Gates Foundation.

“Gates needs to know the extreme ideological underpinnings of the programs his foundation has been giving so much money to,” Weinberg said.

In its defense, the foundation claims its money isn’t going directly into the pockets of abortionists. But Weinberg says Gates should be concerned about the “clever use of his money by people supporting a radical pro-abortion agenda within the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”

Weinberg said the campaign is far from over and will continue as long as “American fat-cats are funding population elimination in the name of philanthropy.” But he is certainly happy with “the real success” they’ve had so far.