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Denmark and like-minded countries are encouraging the EU to increase support for women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights

17.02.2017  14:32

A joint letter signed by 10 EU-countries has today been sent to the EU. The letter encourages EU to put women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights high on the agenda and to find additional funding to the organisations which are expected to be affected by the reintroduction of the so-called Global Gag Rule. The Global Gag Rule potentially impacts access by the world’s most poor and vulnerable women to contraception, sexuality education, family planning and safe abortions.

The joint letter has come into being at the initiative of the Danish minister for development cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs. Besides Denmark, the letter is signed by Sweden, France, Finland, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Estonia, Portugal, Belgium and Cyprus.

The call for action comes ahead of the high-level conference “She Decides” that will take place in Brussels on March 2nd hosted by Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and The Netherlands. Ulla Tørnæs welcomes the broad European support for women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights that has been mobilized by the ‘She Decides’ movement, the joint letter and the high-level conference.

Women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights are a touchstone in Danish development cooperation. Therefore the Danish government has chosen to prioritize additional 75 million DKK to this important agenda in 2017. I sincerely hope that the EU with this call will increase support too so that we can ensure continued access to contraception, sexuality education and family planning for the millions of women who – if we do not act – will lose access to these essential health services, says minister for development cooperation Ulla Tørnæs (V).

225 million women in the world lack access to contraception today. More than 800 women die every day due to pregnancy or childbirth. Every year around 22 million unsafe abortions are carried out on a global scale. Besides the call from the like-minded countries, the European Parliament has called for the EU to react to the reintroduction of the Global Gag Rule.

Read the letter here.

Additional information:

Marianne Lynghøj Pedersen, special advisor for the Danish minister for development cooperation: 0045 42485158