Alexander De Croo supports Dutch proposal for an international fund for safe abortion

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo supports the initiative of Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen to establish an international fund for safe abortion. Minister De Croo had a telephone contact this afternoon with his Dutch colleague to convey the Belgian support. The proposal is a reaction to the decision by US President Trump to stop funding organizations that help women in developing countries with family planning and, in that context, also offer the opportunity for safe abortion.
 
Alexander De Croo: “This American decision of the White House has a direct impact on the lives of millions of girls and women in developing countries. Information on family planning and the possibility of abortion are of great importance for the development of girls and women. When a girl gets pregnant as a teenager, this takes away her chances in her further life. Often she has to quit school, while going to school is just so important. Educated girls and women are stronger, they can make their own choices and they have healthier and better educated children. But also the availability of contraceptives is important and lowers the number of teenage pregnancies and maternal mortality.”
 
Research indicates that cutting support to these organizations causes less access to contraceptives. This will increase the number of abortions. Also, such ‘illegal’ abortions often take place in unsafe conditions. As a consequence of this measure, many teenage girls will bear scars for the rest of their lives, or even lose their lives.”
 
During the phone call with his Dutch colleague Ploumen, Minister De Croo explicitly expressed his support for her proposal to establish an international fund for safe abortion. Through this support, our country wants to make sure that the organizations who are now affected by the decision of the White House can still continue to do their work.
 
This support is completely in line with the priorities of the Belgian development policy. Strengthening sexual and productive rights of girls and women is an important point of attention for Belgium. For example, our country already contributes to the fight against teenage pregnancies in Mali and Niger. In Guinea, Belgium cooperates with the United Nations Population Fund in order to enhance access for women to information on family planning, to combat violence against women and to tackle genital mutilation. With 7 million € a year, Belgium is an important donor of UNFPA.” concludes Minister De Croo.