Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

A sign reading "Health Is A Right" held up at the Women's March in Los Angeles on January 21, 2017.

A protest sign at the Women's March in Los Angeles on January 21, 2017. (Photo: Larissa Puro/flickr/cc)

The Netherlands to Counter Trump's "Global Gag Rule" With International Abortion Fund

Fearing for women's health, Dutch government steps forward to ensure reproductive healthcare programs around the world remain funded

Nika Knight

The world has responded with fear and outrage to many of President Donald Trump's repressive actions since taking office, and the Dutch government immediately announced plans to counter one: the reinstatement of the "global gag rule" which cuts off U.S. funding to any NGO around the world that mentions abortions.

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen announced the government's plan for a new international abortion fund on Tuesday.

"Banning abortions does not result in fewer abortions," said Ploumen, according to teleSUR. "It leads to more irresponsible practices in back rooms and more maternal deaths. We must not let this happen."

The Independent adds:

[Ploumen] told colleagues: "This 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."

[...]She also quoted figures from Marie Stopes International, one group which would lose funding under the initiative, suggesting up to 14 women a day could die as a result of the gag.

The gag rule, also known as the "Mexico City Policy," was instituted by President Ronald Reagan and kept in place by subsequent Republican presidents, while it was repealed by both Democrats, as Common Dreams noted.

Planned Parenthood also explained the dire results to come from Trump's executive order. "When in place, the global gag rule (also known as the Mexico City Policy) has had enormous and harmful impacts on women's lives," the group wrote:

  • In many communities, the most experienced providers of women's healthcare were cut off—sometimes, the only provider of any essential healthcare in their community and clinics were shut down.
  • It also stifled the free speech of doctors and of advocates in the country and weakened civil society.
  • Multiple studies have come out looking at the impact of the global gag rule and they have found that the primary impact is lost access to contraceptives, and in turn, increased rates of abortion—which are primarily unsafe.

"Ploumen wants to launch a new fund that could be supported by governments, businesses, and social organizations to 'compensate this financial setback as much as possible,'" reports the Associated Press.

Trump's reinstatement of the gag rule has been met with strong resistance stateside as well, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced legislation Tuesday that would repeal the rule for good, as Common Dreams reported.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'An Atrocity': Poor Go Without as Rich Nations Set to Let 100 Million Covid Vaccines Rot

"Poorer countries shouldn't have to wait until our doses are about to expire to vaccinate their populations."

Andrea Germanos ·

Haiti Official Demands 'Humanitarian Moratorium' as US Ramps Up Deportations

The administration's rapid removal of refugees and migrants was denounced as "reprehensible" and "cruel."

Julia Conley ·

20 Years After Start of 'War on Terror', Groups Demand Closure of Gitmo 'Once and For All'

"President Biden has the authority and power to permanently close Guantánamo Bay, turning it from a living symbol of torture and injustice to a historical warning to future generations."

Kenny Stancil ·

'Climate Clock' Shows Rich Nations Still Owe $90 Billion a Year to Global Green Fund

"Wealthy nations must live up to their promise made twelve years ago and put their money where their mouths are," said an Oxfam climate expert. "We need to see real funding increases now."

Jake Johnson ·

Democrats Urged to 'Ignore' Parliamentarian's Advice Against Path to Citizenship

"Ignore this ruling or get a new one. The GOP didn't hesitate when they pushed their corporate agenda."

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo