More countries pledge funds to counter Trump’s global anti-abortion move

EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

Polish workers and protesters gather during a womens strike against the abortion law in Poland, in Brussels, Belgium, 24 October 2016. The strike is an expression of the opposition to strengthen the regulations on the abortion law. Protesters gather to express their solidarity and fight for the entitlement to legal abortion, sex education, contraception and in vitro conception.

More countries pledge funds to counter Trump’s global anti-abortion move


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Norway has joined eight other countries in an initiative to raise millions of dollars to replace shortfalls caused by President Donald Trump’s ban on U.S.-funded groups around the world providing information on abortion.

The other countries are the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Canada and Cape Verde have all also lent their support.

In January, the Netherlands started a global fund to help women access abortion services, saying Trump’s “global gag rule” meant a funding gap of $600 million over the next four years, and has pledged $10 million to the initiative to replace that.

Now Norway has announced it will donate roughly the same sum.

“The government is increasing its support for family planning and safe abortion by 85 million Norwegian crowns ($10 million) compared with 2016,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg said.

“At a time when this agenda has come under pressure, a joint effort is particularly important,” she said in a statement.

Last month, Trump reinstated a policy requiring overseas organisations that receive U.S. family-planning funds to certify they do not perform abortions or provide abortion advice as a method of family planning.

The global gag rule, which affects U.S. non-governmental organisations working abroad, is one that incoming presidents have used to signal their positions on abortion rights. It was created under U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Trump signed it at a ceremony in the White House on his fourth day in office. Barack Obama lifted the gag rule in 2009 when he took office.

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