JOHN THYS—AFP/Getty Images
February 28, 2017 3:03 PM EST

Dutch politician Lilianne Ploumen is taking on President Donald Trump’s ban on providing federal money to international organizations that perform or provide information about abortion.

In his first few days in office, President Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits the United States from giving federal aid to any nongovernmental organization abroad that performs or informs people about the procedure. Ploumen, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, subsequently said she wanted to set up an international fund to help expand contraception and abortion access to women in developing countries.

“This is a time to really act. We hear a lot of talk about what President Trump does or doesn’t do and his decisions,” Ploumen told Refinery29 in an interview published this week. “But if we all just listen to that and not act, many women will suffer because of those decisions. I didn’t want to let that happen.”

Ploumen’s fund, called She Decides, has since raised over 200,000 euros in donations alone, according to Refinery29. She’s also gotten the support from Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Sweden, Belgium and Norway, which pledged to donate roughly $10 million to the initiative. Ploumen is now working to get more countries to sign on to support She Decides.

“To be able to decide if you want to have sex, with whom and have babies, these matters all define who you are as a person,” she said. “In many countries of the world, there’s a lack of services to help women make those decisions for themselves, which is why these health organizations are so crucial.”


Write to Samantha Cooney at

Read More From TIME

Related Stories