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The Netherlands "counters" Trump with international abortion fund


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Some hope amid this very dark and difficult week witnessing Trump’s streak of inhumane executive orders: the Dutch government will organize an international fund to combat Trump’s reinstatement of the “global gag rule” which rescinds funding to any foreign organization that provides abortion services–even if that funding wasn’t earmarked for abortion services. The Dutch Trade and Development Minister Lilianne Ploumen speaks out against the fallacy of thinking that banning abortion would lessen abortion numbers. Read Ben Winsor’s report in partial below, in full via SBS.

The Dutch Government is planning to launch an international fund to finance access to birth control and abortion in developing countries, in order to fill the gap left after the Trump administration announced it would no longer fund any overseas aid organisations which discussed abortion.

“Banning abortions does not result in fewer abortions,” Dutch Trade and Development Minister Lilianne Ploumen said in a statement.

“It leads to more irresponsible practices in back rooms and more maternal deaths.”

The World Health Organisation estimates that 22 million women experience unsafe abortions every year, the vast majority of whom are in developing countries.

A 2008 report from the organisation estimated that nearly 50,000 women die from complications in such procedures annually.

Minister Ploumen said that the Trump administration’s decision risked undermining recent advances in women’s health.

“We must not let this happen,” she said.

“We need to compensate for this financial blow as much as possible, with a broad-based fund - which governments, businesses and civil society organisations can donate to - so that women can remain in control of their own bodies.”

The Minister said her intention was to counter the impact of the funding ban on women and girls around the world.

*Image of Lilianne Ploumen via SBS