A group of 20 countries supported Netherlands’ initiative of starting an abortion aid fund that hopes to overcome the new decision from the Trump Administration of reinstalling the “global gag rule.”
The law blocks the United States from providing public money to any nongovernmental organization that conducts any abortion-related services or divulge information about the process.
The Netherlands was the first United States ally to oppose to the reinstallation of the law worldwide openly. The government of the European country has stated that they hope to collect over $600 million over the next weeks, with the support of other 20 countries.
This fund would be able to fulfill the money gap that the Trump decision will produce over the next four years in many organizations across the globe.
“As well as contacting a number of European countries that we work with on these issues, we’re also in touch with countries in South America and Africa, as well as the foundations. It’s important to have the broadest possible support for the fund,” Lilianne Ploumen, the Netherlands’ International Development Minister, said in an interview to The Guardian.
Trump’s decision and the upcoming consequences
One global reproductive health organization called PAI helped people across the world with a $600 million budget concerning family planning, according to PAI’s CEO and President, Suzanne Ehlers.
With the reinstallation of the gag rule, about $9.5 billion worth of aid family planning could be diminished considerably over the next year.
Nongovernmental organizations that use that money are not only related to abortion methods but are also oriented toward the eradication of malaria and medical aid for patients who have HIV and AIDS.
In fact, one organization promoted by George W. Bush called PEPFAR has been active when it comes to reducing the number of HIV and AIDS infections in the United States and would also be affected by the Trump ruling.
The “global gag rule,” also called the “Mexico City policy,” was first established by Republican President Ronald Reagan back in 1984. This procedure has been validated and invalidated several times through history, as Democrat presidents usually rescind of it and Republican ones install it. In fact, when Obama came to the White House in 2009, he repealed the law, and eight years later, Trump made it valid again.
This ruling from Trump’s administration came at a harsh moment regarding women’s rights, since the public debate on this issue began last Sunday with the Women’s Marches in several important cities across the globe.
However, this marches would be countered by the March for Life to be held in Washington next Friday. Trump’s adviser and current official Counselor Kellyanne Conway will be the speaker.
According to the White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, President Trump’s position concerning abortion has been clear at all times, as he is a pro-life politician.
Spicer stated that this decision not only enforces Trump’s vision concerning abortion but pays respect to the tax money collected from Americans.
He explained that is inconceivable that American money is spent on things that don’t reflect the United States values, at least the values that the current President has.
Vice-president Mike Pence has also shown his posture regarding abortion, as he managed to pass many legislations that restricted the procedure while he was governor of the state of Indiana.
Also, when Pence was in the Congress, he introduced different bills that hoped to block any federal money that could finance pro-abortion organizations.
The abortion legislation in the U.S. and the world
The international law variations concerning abortion are quite remarkable, as in some countries is a personal choice while in others it’s flatly illegal.
Also, in some countries, an abortion procedure is perfectly legal in cases of rape or if the mother’s health situation could be heavily affected by the pregnancy.
Currently, the United States is one in 60 countries across the world that can provide access to safe abortion processes. Since 1973, the abortion is legal in all states. However, each state legislation can make easier or harder the access to the medical treatments needed by women in that situations.
The new “global gag rule” reinstallation is criticized because it is oriented to reducing the number of abortions even when it has been proved to be inefficient in accomplishing that objective.
A study from the Stanford University’s School of Medicine showed that the effect of the “Mexico City policy” is the opposite of what Republican administrations thought.
“If women consider abortion as a way to prevent unwanted births, then policies curtailing the activities of organizations that provide modern contraceptives may inadvertently lead to an increase in the abortion rate,” the authors of the study concluded.
Source: Washington Post