Recently, America’s President, Donald Trump, reinstated a policy that was initiated in the Reagan era, putting a freeze on foreign aid to health care providers offering abortion as a family planning option.
Unfortunately, for the millions of people that this decision affects around the world, there seems to have been a complete lack of consideration as to the adversities that so many women, who fall unexpectedly pregnant, face. Not to mention, the unspeakable violations that are, often, ultimately the cause of them receiving these services in the first place.
While the policy’s reinstatement is devastating to many abortion clinics, gynaecology centres, health care providers and everyday people – in the face of adversity, a hero often comes to the fore, and in this case, the hero is The Netherlands.
The Netherlands have started a global fund and pledged $13 million to help women in developing countries access these vital services. While this pledge does not even nearly cover the $600 million shortfall caused by Trump’s policy reinstatement, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
These family planning clinics that now have less or no funding, as a result of this decision, also provide people with advice on vasectomies, femscreen, contraception (including IUS), sterilisation and general reproductive health. They offer people information on early pregnancy health as well as fertility and reproductive health. Surgical termination and abortion procedures are just a small aspect of what they cover, yet funding has been cut for all of it unless they remove abortion from the list of options.
This is an incredibly complex issue that, no doubt, will continue to generate interest and discussion over the coming months. What the fall out will be – or how bad it will be, no one knows for certain. What we do know though, is that the government of the Netherlands has people within it that understand the complexity of this issue and while they haven’t yet saved the day, they’re certainly leading the way. We can only hope that their initiative is followed by the right people and becomes successful on a global scale, because the alternative is too dire too imagine.
For more information on abortion and other gynaecological services, visit one of our five gynaecology clinics in Wollongong, Canberra, Newcastle, Gosford or Sydney – or contact us online.