Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, founder of Women on Waves, a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands whose mission is to prevent unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortions throughout the world by providing essential reproductive services to women in countries where abortion is illegal, was recently in Washington, DC. She met with members of the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) and other pro-choice organizations to discuss future projects and collaborations.
Last June, Women on Waves made its pilot trip to Ireland and was assisted by FMF’s National Clinic Access Project by providing technical expertise in contemporary threat management and assisting in the development and implementation of security protocols for the vessel.
Gomperts’ project will not only improve access for individual women seeking much-needed reproductive care, but is already bringing an important issue to light in many countries where abortion is simply not discussed. The World Health Organization reports that some 100,000 women die each year from unsafe and illegal abortions — a number that is undoubtedly an underestimate.
In future voyages, the floating abortion clinic will travel to other countries where abortion is illegal or greatly restricted. A return trip to Ireland and missions to Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa are being considered. To donate or provide assistance to Women on Waves, go to their website at http://www.womenonwaves.org.