Rebecca Gomperts: Meet the woman travelling the world delivering abortion drugs by drone

Dr. Rebecca Gomperts on her abortion ship.

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Dr Gomperts has devoted the entirety of her work and life to helping women safely terminate pregnancies
by Maya Oppenheim
@mayaoppenheim
Tuesday 31 May 2016

Dr Rebecca Gomperts has devoted the entirety of her work and life to helping women safely terminate pregnancies in countries where it is illegal Women on Waves / Vessel Documentary

Every year, 47,000 women worldwide die from an unsafe abortion. To put this into context, every nine minutes a woman dies from a termination which is not safe.

While abortion might be one of the safest medical procedures in the world in countries where it is legal, it is harrowingly risky in nations where it is illegal. Of the estimated 20 million women who undergo illegal abortions each year, millions go on to suffer long-lasting and sometimes permanent health consequences from their termination. Infertility and chronic pain are just two of the possible symptoms.

For this very reason, Dr Rebecca Gomperts has devoted the entirety of her work and life to helping women safely terminate pregnancies in countries where it is illegal. From flying drones filled with abortions pills to sailing the seven seas to distribute safe medical abortions in international waters, the 49-year-old Dutch physician will stop at nothing to help women in need.

Since founding Women on Waves, a non-profit organisation of doctors and activists, back in 1999, Gomperts' tactics have perpetually evolved. As well as defying the law of the land by ship, she also runs Women on Web, a website and mail service which delivers abortion pills to women worldwide. Having encountered everything from constantly changing legal frameworks to poker-faced border authorities and stormy seas, Gomperts always has her wits about her.

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Continued at Source: The Independent, http://www.independent.co.uk