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Ocean-bound Abortion Clinic Widens Access for Women

Health care workers will provide abortion and other essential reproductive services to women in countries where abortion is illegal and access to reproductive health care is scant by taking their clinic 12 miles offshore aboard a specially-equipped ship. The project was spearheaded by gynecologist Rebecca Gomperts and her Women on Waves Foundation, which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to charter a Dutch ship and construct a floating clinic on the ship. 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 between 60,000 and 100,000 women die each year from unsafe and illegal abortions _ a number that is undoubtedly an underestimate. The New York Times reported that news of the Women on Waves Foundation has already brought the abortion issue to the forefront in countries like Malta, where abortion is illegal, drawing abortion activists out to tell the stories of women who traveled as far as England to obtain necessary health services. The ship/clinic is expected to begin operations within the month.

Sources:

New York Times - December 1, 2000