The Netherlands launched a global fund to help women access abortion services, as a compensation for President Donald Trump's ban on the U.S. federal funding for foreign groups providing abortion and abortion support for family planning abroad.
The Dutch government held preliminary discussions on this project with other European Union member states, which have reacted positively to the idea, according to a foreign ministry spokesman's statement. Aside from the members of the European Union, companies and social institutions will also be asked to participate in this program.
Foreign Support Against Trump's Banning Family-planned Abortions
President Trump reinstated, Jan. 23, a policy that requires foreign NGOs who receive global family planning funds from the United States' government to certify that they do not use abortions as family planning.
According to the estimates issued by the Dutch officials, these restrictions will account for a $600 million fund shortage over the following years. Representatives of women's rights and people who organize health campaigns have manifested their anger toward this policy, saying that restrictions on abortions can put women's lives in danger.
Additionally, the president also announced a withdrawal of the funding from the United States' domestic abortion services.
"Where decisions are taken that are bad for women in developing countries we should help those women. It's not about the politics, it's about those women," noted Foreign ministry spokesman Herman van Gelderen.
The policy also forbids U.S. federal assistance for the foreign groups using non-U.S. funds for abortion services or lobby foreign governments to legalize abortion.
This measure was implemented since 1984, intermittently, and Barack Obama lifted the measure in 2009 when he started his first mandate. However strict, the policy does not apply when it comes to pregnancy risks, incest or rape.
President Trump, who is known to be an opponent of abortion, signed the reinstatement of this measure at the ceremony in the White House, on his fourth day of the mandate.
"Women's health and rights are now one of the first casualties of the Trump administration," noted Serra Sippel, president of the Centre for Health and Gender Equity in Washington.
Approximately 21.6 million women worldwide undergo unsafe abortions every year, and nine out of 10 take place in developing countries, according to data from the WHO.
Abortions In The United States, At Their Lowest
Approximately half of the pregnancies among women from the United States were unintended, in 2011, according to data from Guttmacher Institute. Of these, approximately four every 10 were terminated with an abortion. In 2014, 19 percent of pregnancies, not taking miscarriages into consideration, ended in abortion. The latest data available shows that there were approximately 926,200 abortions in 2014, 12 percent lower compared to 1.06 million in 2011.
The abortion rate was 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women (aged 15-44), 14 percent lower compared to the 16.9 per 1,000 women in 2011. This was also the lowest rate ever recorded within the United States. Back in 1973 when the abortion first became legal, the rate was 16.3 percent.
"The three most common reasons-each cited by three-fourths of patients-were concern for or responsibility to other individuals; the inability to afford raising a child; and the belief that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents," as noted by the institute.