President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday to reinstate the global gag rule, effectively denying federal funding to any nongovernment organizations that provide abortion services, or even just offer educational information about abortion. Luckily another country is here to help mitigate the undeniable damage this order will do.
The Netherlands is stepping up to the plate with an "international fund" to support birth control, reproductive health and abortion access in the developing world, the Independent reported Wednesday.
Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, announced the plans Tuesday, saying it will "compensate this financial setback as much as possible," the Associated Press reported.
Trump's order, Plouman said, "has far-reaching consequences."
First of all, for all those women who have to make, if they want to have a child, a choice, but also for their husbands and children and society as a whole. Banning abortion does not lead to fewer abortions. It leads to more irresponsible practices in back rooms and more maternal deaths.
Ploumen cited research from Marie Stopes International, a family planning organization that will lose funding under the global gag rule. The group estimated that as many as 14 women a day could die because of the order.
A global gag order was last in place under President George W. Bush — but as Suzanne Ehlers, president and CEO of Population Action International, an international reproductive health organization told Slate on Tuesday, Trump's iteration, which will affect $9.5 billion in U.S. foreign aid, is a global gag rule "on steroids."