The Netherlands had the best response to Donald Trump’s global 'gag rule'

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On 23 January, Donald Trump reinstated a Reagan era policy which prohibits the granting of American foreign aid to health providers abroad who discuss abortion as a family-planning option.

Mr Trump's executive order froze funding to nongovernmental organisations in poor countries if they offer abortion counselling, or if they advocate the right to seek it.

The "global gag rule", also known as the Mexico City policy, caused a $600m funding gap, which the Dutch international development minister Lilianne Ploumen planned to fill in January.

Twenty countries indicated support for the Netherlands' plan, immediately following the announcement.

Ploumen told the Guardianin January:

We’re in talks with 15 to 20 countries and we’ve also spoken to foundations

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.

Norway are the latest country to join the international initiative, as Reuters reports, pledging $10 million, joining Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Canada and Cape Verde.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in a statement:

The government is increasing its support for family planning and safe abortion by 85 million Norwegian crowns ($10 million) compared with 2016.

Picture:Picture: FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images

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

HT Reuters, Guardian

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