Belgium and the Netherlands have teamed up to lead in the creation of an international fund to give women in developing countries access to birth control, abortion, and sex education, The Associated Press reports. It is a move that aims to counterbalance President Donald Trump's executive action reinstating the Mexico City Policy, which restricts non-governmental organizations that receive U.S. federal funding from providing abortions abroad.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo criticized Trump's ban, saying "this decision of the White House has an immediate impact on the lives of millions of girls and women in developing nations."
"Research shows that ending support to these organizations leads to less access to contraceptives. Hence, it increases the numbers of abortions," and often unsafe ones at that, De Croo went on. "The result of the measure is that many teenage girls will be scarred for the rest of their lives, or even lose their lives."
The Netherlands agreed, asserting that they wanted to set up a fund to "compensate for this financial setback."
Every Republican president since former President Ronald Reagan has reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which Democrats have repeatedly repealed when assuming office.