Within days of his inauguration, President Donald Trump signed an executive order prohibiting funding for any global organization offering women information about reproductive healthcare and abortion. Many of the global organizations affected do not even offer abortion services, but merely education about objective science to advance women’s rights and public health.
Across America, the reinstatement of former President Reagan’s gag rule and the gross symbolism of a group of old white men standing behind Trump as he signed off on the anti-woman law, constitute not only another attack on women’s autonomy, but also egregious and dangerous censorship jeopardizing women’s safety to advance a backwards ideology.
But the executive order isn’t just loathed in America. It will affect young women in countries around the world who will lose access to crucial sexual health education, so, understandably, world leaders with more concern about women’s rights and public health than Trump aren’t taking this lying down.
Since January, Europe, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Canada, Cape Verde, the Netherlands, and as of Monday, Norway, have all launched a global initiative to “raise millions of dollars to replace shortfalls left by U.S. President Donald Trump’s ban on U.S.-funded groups worldwide providing information on abortion,” according to Reuters.
The global fund was founded by the Netherlands almost immediately after the executive order was signed, and aims to fill a funding gap of roughly $600 million over the next four years. The Netherlands has pledged $10 million to the initiative which will not only help women across the world to access sexual health education, but also reproductive healthcare and abortions services, Reuters notes.
“At a time when this agenda has come under pressure, a joint effort is particularly important,” Norway’s Prime Minister said in a statement.
Much is made of the resistance to Trump going on in America, where Trump is just a month into his presidency and we’ve all pretty much been done since day 1. But maybe it’s time to start paying attention to how other countries are standing in solidarity with the Americans who oppose Trump, and are picking up Trump’s slack to continue the fight for global human rights.