UK

Donald Trump's Global Gag Order Prompts Norway To Pledge Millions For Abortion Funding Shortfall

It was one of a number of controversial executive orders signed by the new president.

21/02/2017 11:13 GMT | Updated 21/02/2017 15:13 GMT

Norway is the latest country to pledge to help cover shortfalls left by Donald Trump’s global gag order.

Surrounded by men in the Oval Office, the billionaire businessman signed an executive order in January which banned US-funded groups worldwide from providing information on abortion.

Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg was cited on Monday by Reuters as saying: “The government is increasing its support for family planning and safe abortion by 85 million Norwegian crowns (£8 million) compared with 2016.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg said a joint effort was 'particularly important'

“At a time when this agenda has come under pressure, a joint effort is particularly important.”

The global gag order will create a funding gap of $600 million (£480 million) over the next four years.

Following Trump’s order, the Netherlands kicked off financial pushback by starting a fund to help women globally access abortion services.

The country pledged $10 million (£8 million) to help plug the gap in funding.

The Dutch were quickly joined by Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Canada and Cape Verde.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
Donald Trump signed a number of controversial executive orders when he came to power in January

Last year, American money helped 27 million women access contraceptives, preventing two million unsafe abortions and six million unwanted pregnancies, according to analysis by the Guttmacher Institute.

The end of US money to help women in developing countries be counselled on abortion could have deadly consequences, according to the World Health Organisation.

It estimates that more than 21 million women a year have unsafe abortions in the developing world, which accounts for about 13% of all maternal deaths.  

Since its introduction in 1984 by Ronald Reagan, the global gag rule has been alternately revoked and reinstated by Democrat and Republican presidents.