On Thursday in Brussels, the "She Decides" Conference brought together representatives from over 45 governments and more than 400 delegates in an attempt to harvest funds to offset the effects of the decision taken by the American administration to reinstate the Mexico Policy. Launched by Ronald Reagan in 1984, the anti-abortion policy "stipulates that Federal International Aid Funds cannot be allocated to foreign NGOs that practise abortion or campaign to legalise abortion".
The €181 million that must be found essentially by a small number of European Union Member States namely Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Canada and Luxembourg do not cover the €600 million shortfall.
Other Member States such as Austria have stated that they would not not make any financial contribution to the abortion industry.
At the Conference, France was represented by the Women's Rights' Minister, Laurence Rossignol, who "pledged her commitment and support for the initiative taken by the Netherlands’ Co-operation and Development Minister, Ms. Lilianne Ploumen". Like the United Kingdom, France requested an extension. In a press release the Minister announced that: "France will extend its commitment to the Muskoka Fund in 2017 by allocating €10M for the 8 countries targeted by these funds, and will release extra assistance in the form of €1M for the Sahelian region (Chad – Niger) via the United Nations Population Fund for Family Planning Programmes".
Although Lilianne Ploumen has confirmed her intention to pursue the initiative "in the years to come", African civil rights' leaders have noted that abortion is not a health problem and that the sums released "could build 5,000 schools and educate 12 million Africans every year" (see "She Decides": Obianuju Ekeocha asks the West for risk-free births as opposed to risk-free abortions).
La Libre (03/03/2017) ; Agenda Europe (03/03/2017) ; CP Ministère des Familles, de l'Enfance et des droits des femmes (02/03/2017)
Photo : Pixabay/DR