Thursday, March 2, 2017
Washington Post (March 2, 2017): Nations pledge millions after US pulls family planning funds, by Raf Casert:
In response to the Trump administration's reinstatement and expansion of the Global Gag Rule, on March 2 nations met in Brussels to determine how to fill the funding gap. Although the conference was convened at the last minute, representatives from over 50 countries attended and funding pledges approached 100 million dollars.
The Global Gag Rule adopted by the Trump administration earlier this year prohibits organizations from receiving US foreign aid funding if they counsel or discuss abortion with patients or advocate for changes in abortion law. Prior versions of the Global Gag Rule only applied to US family planning funding. The new version includes all American global health assistance. It is estimated that the rule could result in the withholding of half a billion dollars of funding a year.
World leaders at the conference expressed concern that Trump's policies will severely undermine access to family planning in developing nations and will actually increase abortions because of the increase in unwanted pregnancies.