Last Monday President Donald Trump, in a bid to uphold his election promises, signed a decree to reinstate a policy on abortion and international aid funding. The policy, more commonly known as the Mexico City Policy, was originally created under U.S President Ronald Reagan in 1984. Being a controversial policy, it was later rescinded by President Clinton, reinstated by President George W. Bush, and then rescinded again by President Obama in 2009. The reinstatement of the gag rule comes just days after crowds of people marched in cities across the world in a show of unity and support for women’s rights, which including the right for women to have access to abortions.
The policy requires overseas organizations that receive U.S family-planning funds to certify that they do not perform abortions or provide advice about abortion as a method of family planning. While this move by President Trump was widely expected, the decision has been widely criticized by women’s rights groups and health groups all over the world.
It is estimated that the U.S’s policy change will cause a funding shortfall of approximately $600 million over the next four years. There are concerns that the lack of funding will endanger the lives of women in developing nations. It is argued that banning abortion does not lead to fewer abortions. A lack of funding will make it harder for women to obtain access to safe abortion care and avoid unintended pregnancies.
In order to help overcome this issue, the Netherlands have committed $10 million to an initiative to replace funding for abortion services in developing nations. The Netherlands, a country known for its very liberal laws with regards to reproductive health, has called for international funding to help support the health centres offering abortion services in developing nations. Earlier this week, Mrs. Ploument, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation, stated the that the global response to the Netherlands plea has been positively received around the world.
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