Dutch respond to Trump's 'gag rule' with international safe abortion fund
This is important work and it needs to continue.
Up to 20 countries have indicated support for the Netherlands plan to set up an international safe abortion fund to plug a $600m funding gap caused by Donald Trumps reinstatement of the global gag rule, the Dutch international development minister, Lilianne Ploumen, said on Wednesday.
Ploumen took soundings from a number of her colleagues around the world on Tuesday evening after the Netherlands said it would act to mitigate the impact on hundreds of charities around the world.
The global gag rule, also known as the Mexico City policy, was reimposed by Trump on Monday, and bans US federal funding for NGOs in foreign countries that provide abortion services or abortion advocacy.
Were in talks with 15 to 20 countries and weve also spoken to foundations, Ploumen told the Guardian. As well as contacting a number of European countries that we work with on these issues, were also in touch with countries in South America and Africa, as well as the foundations. Its important to have the broadest possible support for the fund.
Ploumen did not identify which countries had been approached or how much money the Dutch government might commit to the scheme. She said the aim would be to continue support for existing programmes being run by organisations such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA), the International Planned Parenting Federation and Marie Stopes International.
These are successful and effective programmes: direct support, distributing condoms, making sure women are accompanied at the birth, and making sure abortion is safe if they have no other choice, she said.
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