Norway and Australia join countries funding abortion in developing countries
22 February 2017
Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway announced that her government is increasing support for "safe abortion".
More countries have announced that they will dedicate money to funding abortion overseas.
Countries including the Norway and Australia are the latest to respond to the reinstating of the Mexico City Policy by President Trump, which prevents US funding from being used by organisations which provide or promote abortion.
In January, the Netherlands set up a global fund for abortion access overseas, saying that the "global gag rule" meant a funding gap of $600 million over the next four years, and has promised $10 million to the initiative to fill it. Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Canada and Cape Verde have also backed the scheme.
Now Norway has joined the scheme, pledging $10m (£8.5m) towards abortion in developing countries. "The government is increasing its support for family planning and safe abortion by 85 million Norwegian crowns ($10 million) compared with 2016," Prime Minister Erna Solberg said.
"At a time when this agenda has come under pressure, a joint effort is particularly important," she said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced this week that the government would send $9.5m (£5.85m) to support the overseas operations of abortion giant Planned Parenthood.
"Today I announce the Australian government will continue our partnership with the International Planned Parenthood Federation to deliver the Sexual and Reproductive Health Program in Crisis and Post Crisis Settings (SPRINT) in the Indo-Pacific region," Bishop said. “The government will provide $9.5 million over three years to the SPRINT program to strengthen sexual and reproductive health, rights and support during humanitarian crises."
Pro-life groups in Australia are opposing the use of tax-payer money to fund abortions using the hashtag #notmymoneyjulie.
Where's the outrage coming from? Not Africa
A coalition of countries dedicated to promoting an abortion agenda in developing countries are to hold a conference in Belgium in March. However, the outrage against the Mexico City Policy seems to be coming from Western nations, not the developing countries themselves. Obianuju Ekeocha of Culture of Life Africa welcomed the move, saying: "The bottom line is that most ordinary Africans will be unimpressed (if not offended) that the United States or any other western country has actually been, up till now, funding organisations that perform abortions given how most of the African cultures value human life from conception."
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