Norway has joined Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Canada, and others to pitch in on an international abortion fund to fight the Trump executive order denying health clinics funding if they provide or promote abortions.
On Monday, Norway joined the international program to raise the money necessary to replace the gaps left by Donald Trump’s ban on providing funds to any world charity groups that offer abortion or information on the procedure as part of their health care services.
The Netherlands started a global funding program in January to improve women’s access to safe abortions in defiance of the executive order signed by Trump reinstating the Mexico City Policy. The Netherlands claims that Trump’s “global gag rule” would cost health care programs over $600 million over the next four years, according to Reuters, and so pledged $10 million to an initiative to replace the money needed.
Norway pledged $10 million to the fund on Monday, with Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, releasing a statement, saying:
“The government is increasing its support for family planning and safe abortion by 85 million Norwegian crowns ($10 million) compared with 2016. At a time when this agenda has come under pressure, a joint effort is particularly important.”
On his first “working day” in the Oval Office, Trump issued an executive order reinstating the Mexico City Policy originally established by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1984. The order blocks any U.S. federal foreign aid to international family planning organizations that either provide or promote abortion.
The order forces non-governmental health clinics to agree to “neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations” in order to qualify for funds from U.S. foreign aid programs. And the order affects them whether or not the money they receive from the U.S. goes to providing abortions.
In response, the Dutch government instituted an abortion fund to counteract the damage to developing nations the Trump order would do.
Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, led the initiative and proposed the fund in order to “compensate this financial setback as much as possible,” proposing it be funded by governments, businesses, and social organizations in opposition to Trump’s actions.
Ploumen’s reasoning, as reported in The Independent, is impeccable:
“This has far-reaching consequences. First of all, for all those women who have to make, if they want to have a child, a choice, but also for their husbands and children and society as a whole. Banning abortion does not lead to fewer abortions. It leads to more irresponsible practices in back rooms and more maternal deaths.”
Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Canada, and Cape Verde have all also signed onto the abortion fund initiative.
Canada’s Minister for International Development, Maire-Claude Bibeau, announced our Northern neighbor’s intention to increase their funding commitment only days after the initiative was announced, according to The Daily Caller:
“Women’s rights is too important for us to make a compromise on that. I think that restricting the access to abortion does not reduce abortion. It only increases the number of unsafe abortions, and it endangers the lives of women.”
The Mexico City Policy has been rescinded and reinstated a number of times since its inception in the mid-1980’s, and is usually rescinded by Democratic presidents and reinstated by Republican ones. It was last in force under President George W. Bush, then repealed by President Barack Obama when he took office.
Watch below as Ploumen speaks to Deutsche Welle news to discuss the purpose and importance of the abortion fund initiative.
Ploumen on bridging Trump’s abortion funding gap | DW News