BY LAURA KINGSTAFF
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.”