Netherlands setting up worldwide fund to support abortion services

This follows US President Donald Trump's order to cut foreign aid for overseas abortions.

US president-elect Donald Trump. Picture: AFP

LONDON - The Netherlands is setting up a worldwide fund to support abortion services being targeted by US President Donald Trump' s order to cut foreign aid.

Other governments, businesses and charities are all being encouraged to donate to the project.

Dutch Minister Lilianne Ploumen said the project would allow women to 'remain in control of their own bodies'.

Currently, no American money can be spent on overseas abortions.

However, this week Donald Trump has gone a step further preventing organisations which receive American family planning assistance from using funding from outside the country to provide abortions or counselling.

The Dutch minister for foreign trade and development co-operation said her government was aiming to support groups that could be affected, adding that banning abortions would not result in fewer take place, but would lead to more back room operations and more maternal deaths.

Trump, an abortion opponent, signed the reinstatement directive at a ceremony in the White House on his fourth day in office. Former President Barack Obama had lifted the gag rule in 2009 when he took office.

Reinstatement of the gag rule, formally the Mexico City policy, came days after crowds of people marched in cities around the world in a show of unity for women's rights, among them abortion access.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)