Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg pledges support for the Dutch government’s ‘She Decides’ campaign; but fetus trafficking still a major concern

Norway has pledged $10m (£8m) to an international initiative aimed at tackling what it says is US President Donald Trump’s assault on abortion.

Last month, Trump signed an executive order that bans funding for American non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which support abortion initiatives abroad.

Major concern’s arising from aborted fetus trafficking is widespread and funding placement has been hard to trace.

In response, the Dutch government launched the She Decides campaign to try and recoup the lost funds. It has since been joined by a number of other countries.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg confirmed on Monday (20 February) that Norway will join Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland and Canada in throwing its weight behind the campaign.

“The government is increasing its support for family planning and safe abortion by 85 million Norwegian crowns [$10m] compared with 2016,” she said in a statement, reported Reuters.

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

Over $600m of funding has been lost for organisations due to Trump’s executive order, known as the “global gag rule”.

The law was initially created under President Ronald Reagan in 1984, but was revoked by President Bill Clinton when he took office in 1993. President George W Bush then reinstated it in 2001 only for President Barack Obama to lift it again in 2009 when he succeeded him.

A World Health Organisation study in 2011 showed unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions went up in countries exposed to the global gag rule, which is a legitimate concern for women who want safety and reliability.

Finding a concise format in which to regulate ‘NGO’ bodies in relation to abortion has been very difficult, especially in third world countries; even the UK’s national health service was found to be dumping bodies in black bags at the back of hospitals, which is a government funded institution.

Launching She Decides, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen said: “We need to compensate for this financial blow as much as possible with a broad-based funding, where governments, businesses and civil society organisations donate so that women can remain in control of their own bodies.”

The She Decides initiative has to date raised only $40m of the $600m that has been cut, but Ploumen has called on more countries to join the campaign.

 

 

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