Both a Norwegian government minister and the leader of a Parliamentary committee were in Brussels this week to take part in a conference that attracted 40 countries. Their goal was to offset US President Donald J Trump’s decision to cut funding to organizations that inform women about abortion options.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has already committed NOK 85 million (around USD 10 million) to help offset the cuts and Trump’s so-called “gag rule” against any organization that even informs women of their abortion options. State Secretary Laila Bokhari in Norway’s foreign ministry said NOK 30 million would be earmarked for the UN’s efforts to aid victims of sexual violence and crisis, and to strengthen women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health in Syria and its neighbouring countries.
The goal of the conference, called “She Decides,” is to raise at least USD 600 million to make up for the US funding to help poor women that Trump cut because he opposes abortion. The conference was spearheaded by the Netherlands with initial funding also coming from Norway, Belgium and Denmark.
Norwegian officials attending the conference included Solveig Horne, Norway’s government minister in charge of equality and family issues, and Anniken Huitfeld, leader of the Norwegian Parliament’s foreign relations and defense committee.
“Norway is one of the biggest forces and one of the countries that has donated the most to sexual and reproductive health measures globally,” Bokhari told newspaper Dagsavisen.