Netherlands: If US Won't Fund Safe Abortion, We Will

Dutch hope to provide $600M to an international fund
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2017 7:53 AM CST

(Newser) – Donald Trump's installation of what some are calling an abortion gag rule "on steroids" will lead to "dangerous backroom procedures and higher maternal mortality," says the Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation—which is why the Netherlands plans to step in. The country says it will set up an international safe abortion fund to support organizations that would otherwise miss out on millions or billions in US foreign aid under the Mexico City policy, per CNN. Without such funding, NGO Marie Stopes International says there will be 6.5 million unintended pregnancies, 2.2 million abortions, 2.1 million unsafe abortions, and 21,700 maternal deaths over the next four years, while 1.5 million women will lose access to contraception.

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"We have to make up as much as possible for this financial blow, with a broad-based fund that governments, companies and civil society organizations can donate to," Dutch minister Lilianne Ploumen says. She tells the Guardian that the country hopes to meet a "very ambitious target" of $600 million as soon as possible, with donations to be accepted within a few weeks. She tells the BBC as many as 20 countries in Europe, Africa, and South America have already expressed interest in providing support, which would go to groups like Marie Stopes International, the United Nations Population Fund, and the International Planned Parenting Federation. (A hilarious video shows Trump what the Netherlands has to offer, from racist festivals to ponies.)

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