Looks like the women of the world have Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau to thank for renewing our faith in humanity and the ability of government to support women’s reproductive rights. During a talk on International Women’s Day on Wednesday, Trudeau announced that his government will spend $650 million over the next three years on sexual and reproductive health initiatives worldwide.
This exciting news has supporters — and women, in particular — breathing a yuuuge sigh of relief considering recent political threats to women’s reproductive rights in the U.S. While naysayers will focus solely on the word “abortion,” those who believe in women’s reproductive rights are beyond thrilled about the possibilities of this funding, which will go toward supporting sex education, family planning and contraceptives and strengthening reproductive health services. The money will also fund programs to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence, including forced marriage and female genital mutilation and supporting the right of women to get safe and legal abortions.
This news couldn’t have come at a better time. U.S. President Donald Trump just announced an executive order to block funding to organizations that counsel women on family planning options that include abortion services, which is estimated to leave a $600-million gap for international groups. That’s pretty terrifying, to say the least.
In addition to the advocacy and education surrounding these issues, Trudeau also said Canada is committed to taking a leadership role in the fight to prevent risky abortions and promote reproductive rights by pledging to help fight anti-abortion laws and try to reduce the estimated 22 million unsafe abortions annually. Thank goodness someone is willing to step up and advocate for women’s reproductive rights and safety.
Oh, and just when we thought Trudeau couldn’t be any more supportive of women, he goes and says this: “It is important that as a world we recognize that empowering women, that respecting their rights, is fundamental to building a world in which everyone has a real and fair chance to succeed.” Trudeau obviously isn’t hard on the eyes, but those words are really what made us swoon.