On Monday (Jan. 23), Donald Trump announced that he’s cutting funding to foreign NGOs who offer family planning care that includes abortions. If you were at all disheartened by this, the Netherlands has come up with a plan.
According to Dutch officials, Trump’s restrictions will cause a worldwide funding shortfall of $600 million over the course of his presidency. To combat this, the Netherlands is launching a global fund to help women access abortion services.
Dutch International Development Minister Lilianne Ploumen, who made the announcement, said banning abortions would not result in fewer taking place, but rather it would lead to “more irresponsible practices in back rooms and more maternal deaths,” according to the BBC. To make matters worse, the funding cut will have even wider ramifications.
“This executive order of President Trump makes it impossible for organizations not only to deliver the service of safe abortions, but also to give sexuality education, to promote contraceptives and make sure that people have access to contraceptives, so the impact is huge on the lives of women and children,” Ploumen said.
Now, of course, the Dutch alone cannot make up for such a massive shortfall and they’re hoping the international community–governments and citizens alike–will chip in as well.
“We’re in talks with 15 to 20 countries and we’ve also spoken to foundations,” Ploumen told the Guardian. “As well as contacting a number of European countries that we work with on these issues, we’re also in touch with countries in South America and Africa, as well as the foundations. It’s important to have the broadest possible support for the fund.”
It’ll apparently take at least three weeks to get the project off the ground and running. It’s a tall order, but Ploumen says,
“You should never compromise on your aims from the outset. Six hundred million dollars is a very ambitious target but we’re committed to it.”