Right now, we need to send our European governments a clear signal about the importance of safeguarding women’s rights worldwide.
As one of his first presidential actions, Donald Trump not only reinstated but radically expanded the 'global gag rule'. The so-called global gag rule blocks US funding for overseas organisations that provide abortion services, counselling or referrals. With the expansion, even funding for vital health services like contraception, maternal health and HIV/AIDS prevention is under threat. This will have dramatic consequences for millions of women and girls worldwide.
A few European Union countries, supported by Canada and Australia, have decided to take action. They’ve set up an international fund aiming to compensate the massive financial losses faced by international organisations. The goal is to at least make sure the majority of existing consultation and education services can continue to run.
For now, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Luxembourg have pledged to make funds available to counter the global gag rule. In order to further increase this international funding, we want to strongly encourage more national governments to contribute.
Ask the minister responsible in your country and your national government to step up their game against the threat of a massive societal rollback, a la Trump.
This is where we can send a very clear signal: We fight back! We will not give into back-pedalling on equal rights for all. Every woman, no matter where, has the right to decide over her own body: #she decides.