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Netherlands moves to counter Trump abortion funding ban

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 01/25/17

From the BBC:

The Netherlands is to set up an international fund to support abortion services hit by President Donald Trump’s order to cut US foreign aid.

Lilianne Ploumen, a Dutch minister, said it would set up “a well-financed fund” to allow other governments, businesses and charities to donate. The Netherlands would do everything in its power to help women “remain in control of their own bodies”, she said. President Trump ordered a ban on US aid to support abortion services overseas. For decades, it has been the case that no US money can be spent on overseas abortions. But on Monday, the president signed an executive order – known as the global gag rule – which takes that a step further, prohibiting organisations that receive US family planning assistance from using non-US funding to provide abortion services, information, counselling or referrals. Mrs Ploumen, the Dutch minister for foreign trade and development co-operation, said the Dutch government was aiming to support groups that could be affected. She said banning abortions would not result in fewer take place, but rather it would lead to “more irresponsible practices in back rooms and more maternal deaths”. “The Netherlands has been very active in promoting sexual and reproductive rights for women,” she told the BBC. “This executive order of President Trump makes it impossible for organisations not only to deliver the service of safe abortions, but also to give sexuality education, to promote contraceptives and make sure that people have access to contraceptives, so the impact is huge on the lives of women and children.” She said the response both in the Netherlands and internationally had been “very positive”.

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