U.S. Groups Involved in Influencing Anti-Women Policies in Europe

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openDemocracy recently testified at a European Parliament hearing held by the committees on women’s rights and foreign influence to discuss their findings on investigating foreign groups who have funded, interfered with, and influenced anti-gender policies in Europe. 

Their findings revealed 28 U.S. groups who oppose sexual and reproductive rights, spent most of their funds in Europe. But their tax findings didn’t show the identities of the donors or how the funds were used, with the exception of European courts.

Specifically, two of the groups have been identified as the American Center for Law and Justice, run by Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow, and Alliance Defending Freedom. According to openDemocracy, the money mostly came from European groups, but also Russia and the U.S.

They found Russian oligarchs supporting anti-abortion, anti-LGBT campaigns, Christian political projects, and social media activities. French MEP Raphael Glucksmann denounced foreign involvement and powers using women’s rights issues to “artificially polarize our societies to a level of unrest or so that it destabilizes our democracies.”

There is concern that what happened to Poland, the move to the right and banning abortion, could happen to other European countries as a result of foreign influence. 

Read more on openDemocracy’s findings and what the European Parliament plans to do about foreign influence and interference here.