In reaction to the US government’s decision to roll back all funding support for organisations that support planned parenthood, contraception and abortion (aka the Global Gag Rule), Denmark is leading the way in filling the void.
The minister for development, Ulla Tørnæs, has assembled an alliance of like-minded European nations committed to working for women’s rights and health.
“I am concerned about the consequences that the US decision to reintroduce the Global Gag Rule can have on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable women and girls,” said Tørnæs.
“So I’ve assembled an alliance of European nations, Denmark included, which all have this issue at the top of their agendas.”
The alliance has penned a joint letter encouraging the EU to help find extra funds for the organisations impacted by the sudden loss of US funding.
Filling the vacuum
Currently, the alliance is working on getting as many countries as possible to sign on. The Danish government is leading the way with an aid grant of 75 million kroner.
“It’s essential that the organisations working with planned parenthood and sexual and reproductive rights are not forced to close down, but Denmark can’t go it alone,” said Tørnæs.
“So hopefully we can reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and deaths due to pregnancy and birth.”
There are an estimated 225 million women across the world who don’t have access to contraception, and over 800 women die every day in connection with pregnancy or birth. Every year about 22 million unsafe abortions take place globally.