Meet Lilianne Ploumen

17342739_1455286724516814_5383309220494341215_nThe province of Limburg and South-Limburg in particular, has been represented in national politics fairly prominently over the past two centuries, with the city of Maastricht as a main “supplier” of political figures. The name Petrus Regout should ring a bell, he was the pater familias of an important Maastricht merchant family who were both famous and notorious for their mark on the earthenware industry since the 17th century. He was also elected as a member of Senate (Eerste Kamer) and served from 1849-1859. More Regout family members from consecutive generations followed in his footsteps, not just as members of parliament, but also as ministers who made their mark on Dutch legislation. More recently, Maastricht is represented by Lilianne Ploumen, she served as a Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation since 2012. Her party, the PvdA, suffered a major setback in the recent national election but she made it to the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) by vote of preference.

Lilianne Ploumen made headlines when she launched She Decides, an international safe abortion fund as a response to Donald Trump’s anti-abortion cuts. The Netherlands and Maastricht in particular couldn’t have been prouder of ‘their’ Lilianne! This is a video from February 21.

 

(From the She Decides Facebook page)

Almost 225 million women and girls would like to avoid pregnancy but they have no access to contraceptives. Every day, over 800 women and girls die of pregnancy complications – and over 100 die because of unsafe abortions.

For years, the United States has been an important partner to help bring these numbers down. With a yearly budget of over $600 million for family planning and reproductive health programs, many women and couples around the world received contraceptive services and supplies. Every year, according to the Guttmacher Institute, two million unsafe abortions were prevented and over 11.000 deaths were averted.

But these gains are now at risk. The reinstatement of the so-called Mexico City Policy prohibits US government funding of organizations that provide access to (information about) abortions. Many of these organizations also provide access to family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention.

We cannot let that happen. Women and girls should have the right to make their own choices. They should have access to adequate health care.

That is why Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, decided to launch the She Decides – Global Fundraising Initiative. It aims to ensure that millions of women and girls are in charge of their own bodies.

Check out www.shedecides.com for more information!

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