Princess Mabel called on the international community to “mobilise the political will and means necessary to ensure that girls all over the world make well-advised decisions for their own body, procreation and their future.” Princess Mabel spoke the words during the #SheDecides conference in Brussels, which was organised by Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden after President Trump of the United Staes decreed that there would be no more monetary support for organisations which offer abortions.
Dutch politician and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, responded with the founding of the She Decides foundation to cover the 600 million that the organisations will now miss out on. The conference in Brussels brought dozens of countries and NGO’s together to discuss the matter. So far, the foundation has raised 181 million euro, Belgian Minister Alexander De Croo announced.
Princess Mabel was there on behalf of Girls Not Brides and gave a speech. “It would be a great step forward if the taboos surrounding sex were broken and young people have easy access to birth control.” She spoke of the 12-year-old Cynthia from Zambia, who didn’t know that sex could lead to pregnancy. “When they found out she was pregnant, she was immediately forced to get married. Cynthia dropped out of school and lost her chance to escape poverty through education. If girls like Cynthia can make well-advised decisions, they could lead a happier, healthier and more productive life.”
Rory Stewart, Minister for International Development, restated the UK’s existing spending on family planning in developing countries. “Having historically put £90m in 2010 into this issue I can confirm that the UK government now has a budget of £200m for family planning,” he told delegates. “For the UK this is an absolutely crucial issue,” said Stewart, adding that the UK was the second-largest donor in the world and had increased funding in recent years.