Fr. Euteneuer: Buffett is 'Dr. Mengele of philanthropists'
Alliance with Gates foundation irks anti-abortion activists
NEW YORK (AP) -- Warren Buffett's new philanthropic alliance with fellow billionaire Bill Gates won widespread praise this week, but anti-abortion activists did not join in, instead assailing the two donors for their longtime support of Planned Parenthood and international birth-control programs.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to which Buffett has pledged the bulk of his $44-billion fortune, devotes the vast majority of its funding to combating disease and poverty in developing countries. Less than 1 percent has gone to Planned Parenthood over the years. And the Gates Foundation does not permit its gifts to Planned Parenthood to be used for abortion services.
"The merger of Gates and Buffett may spell doom for the families of the developing world," said the Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, a Roman Catholic priest who is president of Human Life International.
Referring to Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi death camp doctor, Euteneuer said Buffett "will be known as the Dr. Mengele of philanthropy unless he repents."
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America issued statements praising Buffett and Gates for their generosity. Gloria Feldt, a former Planned Parenthood president, said she was appalled by the harsh attacks on them.
The foundation founded by Buffett, and now named after his late wife, Susan, came under fire from some anti-abortion groups in the 1990s after it gave $2 million to fund clinical trials of mifepristone, more commonly known as the RU-486 abortion pill. The foundation also has supported various abortion-rights and family-planning groups, and Susan Buffett was eulogized after her death in 2004 as a champion of women's reproductive health.
Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, wrote a commentary this week holding the Buffetts partially responsible for the approval of RU-486 in 2000.
"Since then, approximately 500,000 American babies have been killed with RU-486," Perkins wrote. "Buffett's billions have the potential to do damage like this on a global scale."
Planned Parenthood, which is the leading provider of abortions in the United States, has received $34 million from the Gates Foundation over the years -- out of a total of $10.5 billion in grants worldwide, according to foundation spokeswoman Jacquelline Fuller. She said the foundation does not fund abortion services, earmarking the grants for other Planned Parenthood programs.