07/16/2012 05:45 pm ET | Updated Sep 09, 2012

Do Something Uncontroversial

At the Fistula Foundation we work every day to help women injured in childbirth in Africa and Asia, get life-transforming surgery to take them from lives of miserable incontinence to health and vitality. One of the proven strategies for helping prevent childbirth injuries like fistula and the death of women in childbirth is to make family planning available to women who want it.

Most often fistula happens during a first birth, and all too often to a girl or a woman who'd likely still be in school if she were living in the United States. The simple fact is women have healthier pregnancies and healthier babies when they are physically mature and when births can be spaced appropriately. Family Planning made universally available would save the lives of 100,000 women who die each year in childbirth and prevent the deaths of 600,000 children.

That's why I'm supporting Melinda Gates with her "No-Controversy pledge" for family planning. I care about the ability of women and men to plan and space their children, and to make the best choices possible for their family. That's what I want for me and my family, how could I not want it for everyone else? Please consider joining Melinda and so many others. Here's the pledge:

Contraceptives are not controversial.
There is no controversy in empowering women to decide if and when to have a child.
Today, more than 200 million women and girls in developing countries who don't want to get pregnant lack access to contraceptives.
On July 11, world leaders, non-governmental organizations, donors, business leaders, and others will gather in London to pledge their support to help transform the lives of the world's poorest women and girls. Access to contraceptives saves lives and leads to healthier, more prosperous families, communities and nations. Surely, there is no controversy in raising your voice for millions of women and girls who want access to lifesaving contraceptives.
Take the Pledge:
I believe that every girl and
woman deserves the opportunity
to determine her own future.

Here's the link to sign the pledge:

Here's a short compelling video to help you understand why we think this is so important - 1 minute, 44 seconds

Here's the extended play version -- worth the 25 minutes -- of Melinda at TedX Berlin with one of the most thought-provoking, soulful and loving statements made by a leader on the world stage

PS: Our Foundation is NOT supported by the Gates Foundation or the UN Foundation or any government. Family planning improves and saves lives, and helps prevent fistula, that's why I am for it.