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International campaign raises more than $300m for women’s sexual health programmes in developing countries

A campaign to fund worldwide women’s health providers in opposition to Donald Trump has raised more than $305m, the Dutch authorities studies.

Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch minister for overseas commerce and improvement cooperation, began the “She Decides” campaign to assist present entry to contraception, abortion and women’s sexual health programmes in developing countries.

The campaign was launched in January – shortly after Mr Trump banned all aid from the US authorities to organisations that present abortions.

The first “She Decides” convention in March attracted 450 individuals from all over the world, together with politicians, youth leaders, and representatives from numerous UN businesses and NGOs. The convention raised more than $200m to kick-start the trouble.

Since then, Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have all pledged new funding. Rwanda, Chad, South Africa, South Korea, Senegal, Nigeria and Mozambique have signed onto the initiative as “friends”.

Announcing the newest fundraising numbers on Friday, Ms Ploumen referred to as it “excellent information for tens of millions of women and women in developing countries”.

The donations, she added, “present once more that the worldwide group won’t abandon women in developing countries and can assure their primary proper to household planning”.

The Mexico City Policy, also referred to as the “global gag rule,” bans the US authorities from funding worldwide organisations that a lot as present info on abortions. The coverage was first enacted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, and has been re-authorised by each Republican President since – together with Mr Trump.

Critics of the rule say it penalises organisations that present life-saving women’s health providers, reminiscent of HIV and most cancers prevention. Some additionally declare the coverage is pointless, as US regulation already bars authorities cash from funding abortion instantly.

Under President George W Bush, clinics in 20 developing countries misplaced US-donated contraceptives, and lots of have been pressured to scale back providers and even shut down, in accordance with Engender Health.

Mr Trump, nevertheless, has chosen to broaden the rule’s attain, asking his Secretary of State to determine a good broader vary of programmes that would fall beneath the ban. The coverage will apply to an estimated $eight.8bn in worldwide help, in comparison with $600m in earlier administrations.

Ms Ploumen decried the choice as “highly counterproductive”.

“Slashing these services will actually increase the number of unsafe abortions,” she stated. “This will have catastrophic consequences, as similar measures in the past have shown all too clearly.”

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