On Thursday 2 March, Brussels will play host to the She Decides conference. The conference has been organised by the Belgian, Dutch, Danish and Swedish governments in response to the decision of the Trump administration to implement the extended version of the so-called Global Gag Rule, which prevents international NGOs from receiving US aid for sexual health and family planning services, including access to abortions.
The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament is backing calls for EU member states to pledge additional funding for international aid to counter the global gag rule: http://greens-efa-service.eu/shedecides/
Commenting ahead of the conference, Greens/EFA MEP and Coordinator of the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality Terry Reintke said:
"We have to act together now to make sure that Trump’s reckless decision will not have terrible consequences for millions of women and girls worldwide. Women have a right to make decisions about their own bodies and EU member states must stand up for this. Replacement funding is urgently needed and we therefore greatly welcome the decision by a number of European countries to provide funding to counter these cuts. What we need now is for more EU countries to step forward and pledge funds."
Greens/EFA MEP Heidi Hautala added:
"The European Union has a clear role to play in standing up for women’s rights across the world, especially in developing countries. The EU must look at all options available and come forward with concrete measures to ensure that this decision does not undermine women’s rights or put more women at the risk of unsafe abortions. We know that tens of thousands of women die each year already from unsafe abortions, and we must redouble efforts to make sure this ends."