Norway has joined a growing international initiative to counter President Donald Trump's global anti-abortion measure, signed in January.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced over the weekend that the country would pledge an additional $10 million to support U.S.-backed charities overseas that provide information on abortion—which are now cut off from financial support from the U.S. under Trump's "global gag rule," also known as the Mexico City Policy.
Trump instituted the funding ban as one of his first moves in office. The Netherlands launched the international fund in response, warning that the ban would cause a shortfall of $600 million over the next four years and put women's lives at risk around the world.
"Norway plays a leading role in the work to promote global health, and is one of the largest donors to gender equality and women's health efforts," Solberg said. "The government is increasing its support for family planning and safe abortion by [Norwegian krone] 85 million compared with 2016. We will continue to be a driving force for women's health internationally. At a time when this agenda has come under pressure, a joint effort is particularly important."
Belgium, Canada, Cape Verde, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, and Sweden have also pledged support for the initiative.
The global gag rule was created in 1984 by then-President Ronald Reagan, and has been alternately lifted and reinstated by subsequent administrations, with Republicans keeping it in place and Democrats repealing it. Former President Barack Obama most recently did away with the ban in 2009.