An international coalition of organizations raised $190 million Thursday to replace funding lost because of President Donald Trump’s executive order banning U.S. aid to groups that provide or promote abortions overseas.
Trump reinstated the “Mexico City policy” Jan. 23 in one of his first moves as president. Also known as the “global gag rule,” it is expected to have a $600 million impact on worldwide abortion funding. (RELATED: Trump Signs Executive Order Reinstating Ban On Funding And Promoting Abortion Overseas)
Representatives from numerous nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and about 50 different national governments attended the “She Decides” conference Thursday in Brussels. Organizers said the total amount from pledges reached 181 million euros ($190 million), with Sweden and Finland being the highest contributors, at $21 million each.
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Organizers said they aim to match the entire shortfall from the “Mexico City policy” in the near future.
“This is not an event or movement against something or someone. I think that the Trump administration’s decision is the wrong decision,” Belgian minister Alexander De Croo told Reuters. “These 50 countries are going to work together to make sure that the impact of that decision on the field is going to be minimal.”
The French government recently criminalized information websites that “exert psychological or moral pressure” on pregnant women to not go through with an abortion. Violators will face up to two years in prison and a 30,000 euro ($32,000) fine. (RELATED: France Passes Law To Ban Pro-Life ‘Propaganda’ Websites)
Conservative lawmakers and the Catholic church call the ban a threat to freedom of expression in France.