Denmark to give £37m to women's charities affected by Trump's global abortion funding ban

Rachael Revesz
Rasmussen shakes hands with Trump at the White House: Reuters

Denmark’s Prime Minister has announced a multi-million pound donation to support vulnerable women in conflict zones and in response to Donald Trump scrapping funding for overseas family planning clinics.

Lars Løkke Rasmussen told broadcaster DR that the government would give 315 million kroner (£37 million) to organisations that help women at risk of rape, human trafficking and forced marriage.

“This is a clear signal to America. If somebody drops the torch, others must pick it up. The world needs leadership,” Mr Rasmussen said.

He also accused Mr Trump of “withdrawing from all international collaboration related to family planning”.

He added: “Denmark cannot take over from the USA. We are a small country compared to the US, but a voice for freedom is needed in a world with war and conflict.”

His donation comes after the US President re-instated the so-called Global Gag Rule, otherwise known as the Mexico City policy, shortly after coming into office.

The policy strips US funding from any overseas agency that even talks about abortion to women – upping the funding restrictions compared to previous Republican administrations.

Mr Rasmussen said the new money from Denmark can be used for developing countries as it was no longer needed for asylum centres given a recent drop in the number of asylum seekers in the country.

"Women and girls in developing countries are particularly at risk of violence and assault in times of war. That’s why they need more help in being in control of their own bodies, including the use of contraception," he said.

"It is a Danish priority that women should make their own decisions regarding their bodies. This is something Denmark has always been known for."

The comments come as Mr Trump made his keynote speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where the audience broke into spontaneous applause after he said the US had invested in the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, which was “part of our commitment to empowering women all across the globe”.

The anti-abortion Republican has, however, frequently been criticised for the way he talks about women and for consistently threatening to defund Planned Parenthood. When meeting the First Lady of France, Brigitte Macron, he came under fire for telling her that she was in “such good shape”.

He was also accused of sexually assaulting more than a dozen women in his personal and professional life over several decades. He has denied the claims.