Just a quick update on Trump’s expanded Mexico City Policy AKA the “global gag rule”, which we previously addressed. The Netherlands are leading an effort to implement a fund which would replace funding stripped from organizations under the expanded U.S. policy. The aim is to allow the continued functioning of health organizations that might lose U.S. foreign aid from U.S.A.I.D. because they discuss abortion with patients, provide abortions, or advocate the use of abortion as a solution to any women’s health problems.
On Friday, The Guardian announced that Canada may be contributing to this Dutch-led fund. The Dutch have already committed US$10 million to the fund and are hoping to solicit more contributions from other nations. At least 20 countries are expected to contributions if negotiations go as planned. Canada confirmed they will be increasing their support for global reproductive health whether or not they do so by giving money to the Dutch-led fund. Said Canadian Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau:
Yes, we will support the [Dutch] effort… Will it be directly through the fund or indirectly, this is not clear yet. But, I assured my colleague, the Minister from the Netherlands, that we will increase our funding to sexual and reproductive health and rights. This is definitely a very important priority for our government.
Keep your attention on this situation as it develops.