After Trump ban, Brussels
pro-choice conference raises 181 million euros
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[March 03, 2017] By
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A Brussels conference
to finance global family planning initiatives raised 181 million euros
($190.34 million) after a U.S. halt to such programs left NGOs worldwide
with a large funding gap.
Shortly after taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump reinstated
a policy requiring foreign organizations receiving U.S. funds to
certify that they do not perform abortions or provide abortion
advice as a method of family planning.
This funding stop will cause a global shortfall estimated at $600
About 50 countries, organizations and foundations, spearheaded by
the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden, participated in
Thursday's conference in Brussels entitled "She Decides" to fund
groups who have been impacted.
"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 said.
"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," he
While the conference did not match the entire $600 million
shortfall, organizers said they were confident the gap would be
bridged as soon as possible.
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At the conference, campaigners from developing countries talked
about girls being forced to have children in their early teens as a
result of sexual abuse, forced marriages or a lack of access to sex
education and contraception.
"Every country, every person makes their own decisions. The good
thing about this world is that it is a free world and it should stay
that way," said Dutch minister Lilianne Ploumen, who started the
"She Decides" campaign.
(editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek and Toby Davis)
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