Dutch “Women on Waves”: Abortion ship sails to Poland

The women?s-rights organization ?Women on Waves? will soon sail to Poland.
The Dutch Ministry of Health gave ?Women on Waves? a new license to perform abortions on international waters.

?We will start when we receive enough money and proper conditions are offered under the new license,? says Dr. Rebecca Gompers, who started the non-profit organization ?Women on Waves? in 1999.

Her mission is to promote ?safe and legal abortion services? throughout the world.
?Women on Waves? has not set sail for three years due to a 2004 prohibition established by the Dutch government under the leadership of the Christian Democratic Party. On international waters, a ship is subject to the laws of the country of its registration. Dutch law states that ?Women on Waves? may perform abortions up to the 24th week of pregnancy.

However, there must be an abortion clinic at sea, and the permission for such an institution was granted by Minister of Health Mariette Bussemaker on April 25. Before beginning their journey, ?Women on Waves? hopes to change the restrictions of the new license.

?There is no medical or legal reason why ?Women on Waves? should not be allowed to provide abortion services after 7 weeks of pregnancy. ?Women on Waves? will take further legal steps to fight the new restrictions in the license to further protect women?s lives and health.?

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