Justin Trudeau Just Pledged $650 Million to Go Towards Fighting Anti-Abortion Laws Globally

The money will also provide support to other health initiatives.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced yesterday that his government will spend $650 million on sexual and reproductive initiatives worldwide. That money will go in part to fighting global anti-abortion laws.

"For far too many women and girls, unsafe abortions and a lack of choices in reproductive health mean that they either are at risk of death, or simply cannot contribute and cannot achieve their potential," Trudeau said Wednesday at an International Women's Day event, reports Canada's Globe and Mail. "The right of women to choose when, how [and] with whom to start a family is one that we all must fight for and defend."

The initiative would try to reduce the estimated 22 million unsafe abortions that happen annually in countries where there's no access to legal abortion, the paper reports. The pledge is a continuation of Trudeau's conservative predecessor's foreign-aid program for maternal and child health—but that plan specifically prohibited the funds from going towards abortion-relation services and less than 2 percent of its budget was allocated for contraception services.

This news comes on the heels of President Donald Trump's executive order to reinstate a federal ban known as the global gag rule on U.S. funding for international health organizations which counsel women on family planning options that include abortion. That gap in services could be filled in part by the Canadian initiative.

Trudeau was busy on International Women's Day—when he wasn't signing major, multi-million-dollar pledges, the self-proclaimed feminist was delivering video messages. Here, you know you want to take another watch:

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Kate Storey

Kate Storey is a contributing editor at Marie Claire and writer-at-large at Esquire magazine, where she covers culture and politics. Kate's writing has appeared in ELLE, Harper's BAZAAR, Town & Country, and Cosmopolitan, and her first book comes out in summer 2023.