The United Kingdom and Australia did not give money to a new global abortion fund this week, despite intense pressure from abortion activists world-wide.
The new “She Decides” abortion fund comes in reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order prohibiting American taxpayer funding to groups that promote or perform abortions overseas.
USA Today reports representatives from more than 45 countries attended a meeting about the new abortion fund on Thursday in Brussels, Belgium. About a dozen countries and several private donors pledged money, totaling 181 million euros (about $190 million), according to the report.
While the UK and Australia sent representatives to the meeting, neither country promised money.
[The UK’s] decision to send Rory Stewart, a junior minister, rather than Priti Patel, the secretary of state for international development, could be interpreted as a mild snub to the She Decides conference, an event intended by its organisers to be a symbol of solidarity against Trump. Ditto the UK decision not to pledge any additional money, when countries from Norway to the Netherlands are stumping up millions.
Pro-life groups applauded the British government for not giving into the pressure. Life, a UK pro-life group, said the country already has dedicated £200 million pounds to family planning and abortion overseas, and another contribution to abortions would have been tragic.
“We are obviously deeply disappointed that such vast funds are already being spent on overseas abortion and family planning, but relieved to learn that the Government have resisted pressure from the Dutch government to pour further millions of pounds into this new abortion fund,” Life education director Anne Scanlan said in a statement.
Australian ambassador Sharman Stone also attended the meeting Thursday but did not pledge any of her country’s money to the abortion fund, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Stone told the pro-abortion world leaders that Australia is a “strong champion” of reproductive health services for women, and pointed out that her government recently dedicated $9.5 million to “sexual health needs” through its own programs.
Stone and the Australian Foreign Minister continue to face pressure to support the abortion fund, despite their decision not to participate, the report states.
No one knows exactly how many unborn babies are aborted every year across the world. Some research groups put the number at about 50 million, but others say the number likely is smaller. It also is not clear how many of those unborn babies were killed in abortions with U.S. taxpayer dollars during the Obama administration.
As LifeNews.com reported, the Mexico City Policy, which Trump reinstated on Jan. 23 by executive order, also was in place during the entirety of the George W. Bush administration. President Barack Obama rescinded it during his first week in office.
Named for a 1984 population conference where President Ronald Reagan initially announced it, the Mexico City Policy made it so family planning funds could go only to groups that agree to not do abortions or lobby foreign nations to overturn their pro-life laws.
The policy does not stop non-abortion international assistance. It ensures U.S. foreign aid will continue to go to health care and humanitarian relief in the millions of dollars. It just will not subsidize abortion overseas.