Netherlands – There Are No Stigma-Free Abortions, Even in ‘Progressive’ Countries

There are so many things you’d never know about abortions unless you go through one.

By Maud Droste, Illustrated By Djanlissa Pringels
December 8, 2023

I’m in utter disbelief, staring down at a positive result on a drugstore pregnancy test. It’s March 2020. My relationship had just ended two days before, I’d just found out my roommate and I would be evicted and, thanks to a massive bout of procrastination, I had about a month left to finish my bachelor’s thesis.

Getting pregnant was the last of a long list of life-changing events I hadn’t seen coming. My roommate, however, had. I’d been tired for weeks, the only food I craved was mango – which I inevitably threw up after eating – and I felt ambivalent about absolutely everything. “I think you should probably take a test,” she said.


Safe havens? As some nations restrict access, a look at Europe’s abortion limits

Joanna YORK

As US states and nations such as Poland move towards restricting access to abortions, parts of Europe are seen as something of a safe haven for those looking to terminate pregnancies. However, a look at legislation across the continent shows vast discrepancies and how – even if the procedure is often legal – access to abortion is restricted by hurdles ranging from mandatory counselling to a lack of doctors willing to perform the procedure.

More than 95% of women in Europe live in countries that allow some access to abortion. Some 39 European countries have legalised abortion on request, albeit with some restrictions. Six countries have strict limits in place although only three (Andorra, Malta and San Marino) do not allow abortion at all.


This doctor says bans won’t stop her from getting abortion pills to women in the U.S.

APRIL 3, 2023

AMSTERDAM —  It was nearly three decades ago, as a young medical trainee in West Africa, that Rebecca Gomperts witnessed scenes that would set in motion her life’s work. Gruesome hemorrhages, perforated wombs, bloodied young women gasping out their lives: all the aftermath of botched illegal abortions.

“The methods — oh, how invasive they were,” the 57-year-old Dutch activist-physician said, shaking her head at the memory of stricken women staggering or being carried into the hospital. “Sticks. Bleach.”


Netherlands – D66 wants access to abortion to become a human right

(Democrats 66 is a social liberal political party in the Netherlands)

The D66 wants the Netherlands to promote the right to abortion internationally. Women everywhere in Europe should be able to have a safe and affordable abortion, say D66 MPs Sjoerd Sjoerdsma and Wieke Paulusma.

They believe this is possible if access to abortion is preserved as a human right in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. To this end, the D66 members are submitting an initiative memorandum to the Tweede Kamer.


‘No matter the law, no matter the stigma, no matter the cost.’ This European network helps people access abortions

Story, photographs by Kara Fox
CNN Video by Ladan Anoushfar and Louis Leeson, CNN
Wed September 28, 2022

It’s early evening in an affluent neighborhood in the Dutch city of Haarlem and bed and breakfast owners Arnoud and Marika are waiting for their next guest to arrive. They’ve prepared their single room for her, a brightly colored space with massive windows overlooking a leafy drive.

The traveller is a woman from France. She’s only staying one night, but her hosts want her to feel at home because she’s not here on vacation. She’s come to have a second-trimester abortion.


Dutch doctor says group will keep sending abortion pills to US women

Issued on: 16/05/2022

Washington (AFP) – Rebecca Gomperts, a 55-year-old Dutch physician, has spent years fighting for women's access to abortion around the world.

Made famous by her "abortion boat," as recounted in the 2014 documentary "Vessel," she and her Women on Waves group have anchored the ship in international waters off the coasts of Poland, Spain, Mexico and other countries, offering medical abortions to women otherwise unable to obtain them.


The abortion provider that Republicans are struggling to stop

But Silicon Valley could.

By Rachel M. Cohen
May 7, 2022

In 2018, more than two decades after Dutch physician Rebecca Gomperts first became an activist to deliver abortion pills around the world, she turned to the United States. For years she had dedicated her life to working in countries where the procedure was illegal, and was firm in her refusal to avoid the US, where safe, legalized access was still available. “I think this is a problem the US has to solve itself,” she explained in 2014.

But following the election of President Donald Trump, the desperate requests she received from Americans went up, and the cost barriers in the US were glaring.


Women on Web starts providing abortion pills in advance

Women on Web, an international telemedicine abortion service, opens a new service that enables women to request abortion pills before an unwanted pregnancy

For immediate release, 17/02/2022

With the help of this new service, women can request abortion pills in advance and take them as soon as they discover they are pregnant. Women on Web's medical team will prescribe the abortion pills to people who are not yet pregnant but who anticipate that they may need them in the future.

“Abortion pills are an important family planning tool. Having a solution in your medicine cabinet before you are pregnant is a way to feel more protected and prepared. Advance access to abortion pills is especially important for anyone living in a country or community where access to abortion is restricted or limited, or for anyone who considers themselves at high risk of an unwanted pregnancy”, Venny Ala-Siurua, Executive Director, WoW


Netherlands – Abortion pills to be made available through family doctors

February 9, 2022

Family doctors could be allowed to prescribe abortion pills directly if parliament passes a bill submitted by centre-left parties PvdA and GroenLinks.

The liberal coalition parties VVD and D66 are also supporting the proposed change, which is designed to lower the threshold for women who want to end unwanted pregnancies. A majority of MPs are expected to back the bill, NOS reported.


‘Paternalistic’ compulsory pre-abortion wait will be scrapped

January 26, 2022

The compulsory five day pre-abortion wait will very likely be abolished as MPs debate a draft bill initiated by D66 on Thursday.

The wait currently applies to all women who are more than 16 days pregnant and want an abortion. It was included in Dutch abortion law when the practice became legal in early 1980s and has been controversial ever since.