EUCAP Sahel Niger

Appeal to Canadian and EU Foreign Ministers to reject the Dutch plan for an international abortion fund

Bruxelles, 07/04/2017 - 02:00, UNIQUE ID: 170410_18
Petition responses

The European Union has no policy regarding abortion, this being a competence of each Member State. As there is no EU-wide policy concerning this issue, countries such as the Netherlands can direct their funding to organizations which are in line with their own national principles.

Dear Petitioner,

Thank you for drawing attention to this issue.

The European Union has no policy regarding abortion, this being a competence of each Member State. As there is no EU-wide policy concerning this issue, countries such as the Netherlands can direct their funding to organizations which are in line with their own national principles.

The European Union is however concerned about the possible implications of the US Presidential memorandum of 23 January 2017, reinstating the 'Mexico City Policy', for EU´s objectives of reaching universal coverage of health and reproductive health services and eventually for the Sustainable Development Goals targets to reduce maternal mortality and empower women.

The protection and fulfilment of all human rights, including sexual and reproductive rights, is a cornerstone of the EU's development and international cooperation policy as based on the Articles 10 and 21 of the Treaty on the European Union, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Our commitment to gender equality and women's rights, including sexual and reproductive rights, is also reflected in Council Conclusions on gender in development adopted in May 2015. Over the past decade, the Commission has allocated around two hundred (200) million Euros annually from the humanitarian budget to healthcare, including sexual and reproductive health.

Some Member States are exploring or have decided to compensate the loss of funding. The Dutch government announced on 25 January its intention to establish an international abortion fund to compensate the impact of the American decision. This evolved into a fundraising initiative targeted at women’s health, family planning, and access to information. The initiative (called 'She Decides') launched by Dutch Minister Lilianne Ploumen is a fundraising initiative for organizations addressing sexual and reproductive health and rights and affected by the Mexico City Policy. More than 45 Government representatives from all continents, 400 parliamentarians and civil society participants participated on 2 March in Brussels. The amount raised was 181 million euros. 'She Decides' aims to bring about a movement that includes everyone who shares beliefs and values on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

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