BRUSSELS (AFP) – Donor countries on Thursday pledged 181 million euros for charities providing access to safe abortion in response to President Donald Trump’s bar on US funding, organisers said.
The donations came at a “She Decides” conference in Brussels which was attended by 50 countries including Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium.
“I think that the Trump administration decision is a wrong decision, and I’ve never seen any evidence that supports that decision,” Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said as he opened the conference.
“You see almost 50 countries here saying we think that this is important and we want to continue working on this.”
In one of his first acts as president, Trump reintroduced the global gag rule, enacted by Ronald Reagan in 1984, which prohibits foreign charities from using US federal funding to provide abortion services, information, counselling or referrals.
On Thursday, donor nations and organisations pledged 181 million euros for the global “She Decides” initiative, which was launched by the Netherlands in January, the Belgian foreign ministry said.
The Netherlands initiated the https://shedecides.com campaign to compensate for what it said was a 600 million euro ($640 million) annual funding gap caused by Trump’s ban.