Trump left international abortion rights in shambles, activists say. Can Biden undo the damage?

Biden vowed to repeal the ‘global gag rule,’ but Trump’s ‘anti-woman rhetoric’ isn’t necessarily going away

Urooba Jamal
Jan. 19, 2021

In 2019, Melvine Ouyo, a health policy expert and reproductive rights activist, attended a conference in her city of Nairobi, where antiabortion campaigners were protesting the event. Shortly after that, Ouyo said, she met a pregnant 14-year old girl who had no information about how she could access a safe abortion if she chose.

Ouyo said she believes that if the Trump administration’s “global gag rule” — a U.S. foreign aid policy that restricts funding for abortion-related services — had not been in place, the campaigners wouldn’t have had such a prominent platform, and the girl would have had more information about her reproductive health options.


Dutch abortion activist lands on Time Magazine’s 100 most influential list


Rebecca Gomperts is one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people this year. The Dutch activist has dedicated her life to trying to get women safe access to abortions in countries where abortion is illegal.

Gomperts is the founder of Women on Waves, which involves a ship with an on board abortion clinic. Women are taken from countries where abortion is illegal by boat to this ship on international waters, where they can get the treatment they need.


TIME 100: Rebecca Gomperts is among the 100 most influential people of 2020

For immediate release, September 23nd, 2020

Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, founder of Women on Web, Women on Waves and AidAccess, has been chosen among the 100 most influential people of the world in 2020 by Time magazine.

Cecile Richards writes for Time 100: "In this moment of fear and uncertainty, Gomperts is a beacon of hope, standing up for the principle that safe abortion is a human right."

The full list of the Time most influential people of 2020 can be seen here:  


Netherlands – Health minister urged to guarantee abortion pill access amid corona restrictions

Health minister urged to guarantee abortion pill access amid corona restrictions

April 3, 2020

Pro-abortion organisation Women on Waves and women’s support agency Bureau Clara Wichmann are urging health minister Hugo de Jonge to act swiftly to make the abortion pill available to women who are unable to make the requisite visit to an abortion clinic because of the corona crisis.

Women who want to terminate an early pregnancy are bound by law to visit an abortion clinic before they can be given the drugs. The current coronavirus restrictions are making this impossible for at least two women in the Netherlands who are self-isolating, the organisations said. Both women want to terminate their pregnancy within the first trimester using the abortion pill.


Women On Web Making Self-Managed Safe Abortion Accessible

Women On Web Making Self-Managed Safe Abortion Accessible

By Nivedita Jayakumar
February 5, 2020

Legal abortion means that the law recognizes a woman as a person. It says that she belongs to herself. But in most countries, women’s ability to access safe and legal abortions is restricted. Even places where abortion is permitted by law, women often have severely limited access to safe abortion services because of the stigma attached to it, the lack of proper regulation, health services, or political will. There are seven legal grounds on which abortion is permitted—to save a woman’s life, to preserve a woman’s physical health, to preserve a woman’s mental health, rape or incest, foetal impairment, socio-economic factors and on request. According to a report by Women on Waves, approximately 25% of the world’s population lives in countries with ‘highly restrictive abortion laws’—that is, laws which either completely ban abortion, or allow it only to save the mother’s life. And, performing abortion on a woman’s request is allowed only in 30% of countries. To bridge the gap between the 30% and the rest of the world, the online service Women on Web makes safe abortion accessible to every women around the world.


Need an Abortion? There’s an App for That

Need an Abortion? There’s an App for That

by Steph Herold
Published on January 22, 2020

If you needed accurate, evidence-based information about abortion, would you know how or where to find it? Most people have a hard time distinguishing fact from fiction when it comes to abortion, and you really can’t blame them: Anti-abortion misinformation is everywhere, from fake pregnancy centers to racist, shaming billboards to your state legislature. And now there’s an even more intimate way to access abortion information that can be truthful and reliable or wildly misleading—an app on your smartphone.

Activist Rebecca Gomperts Is Reshaping Last-Ditch Abortion Care

Activist Rebecca Gomperts Is Reshaping Last-Ditch Abortion Care

by Greta Moran
Published on July 9, 2019

Abortions are as inevitable as the sun rising. Every year, around 56 million people around the world induce their own abortions, but this doesn’t need to come in the form of a “back-alley” abortion. Dutch activist and doctor Rebecca Gomperts has made it her life’s work to ensure the abortion pill is accessible—even in places where it is outlawed. She describes her work as a form of harm reduction: using medication to induce abortion is the safest alternative to fully legal abortion. So making this method available (and raising awareness of it) mitigates the consequences of harsh laws that criminalize or limit access to abortion. Gompert’s work reduces the potential of self-induced abortion causing harm or a person having to unwillingly carry a pregnancy to term.


USA – Doctors and Major Reproductive Health Organizations Just Took a Decisive Stand in Support of Self-Managed Abortion

Doctors and Major Reproductive Health Organizations Just Took a Decisive Stand in Support of Self-Managed Abortion

Frida Garza

In the spring of 2018, the Austria-based organization Aid Access started providing the two drugs needed for a medication-induced abortion, mifepristone and misoprostol, by mail to people in the United States. Its founder, a Dutch physician named Rebecca Gomperts—whose other organizations Women on Web and Women on Waves have worked to make abortion pills available online and by sea for years—estimates that Aid Access has fulfilled requests from 600 U.S.-based women in the span of six months, despite having virtually no public rollout. But in March of this year, the Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to Aid Access, along with an online pharmacy named Rablon, ordering both services to stop the sale of mifepristone and misoprostol—despite the fact that, when used as directed, the drugs are proven to be safe and effective. That hasn’t stopped Gomperts.


USA – Self-Induced Abortion’s Risks Could Leave Immigrant Women Choiceless

Self-Induced Abortion’s Risks Could Leave Immigrant Women Choiceless
"Imagine being undocumented and considering self-managed abortion in this environment."

Jan 17, 20194
Tina Vasquez

With the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the U.S. Supreme Court now has the votes it needs to completely undermine or overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case legalizing abortion that turns 46 next week. In response to the likelihood of Roe’s demise, reproductive rights advocates have mounted campaigns raising awareness of the safe and effective use of the drug misoprostol as an option for those who want to self-manage the termination of their pregnancy at home. Self-managed abortion can be an ideal option for immigrant women currently in the crosshairs of the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant, anti-choice administration, but the risk of imprisonment is especially high for low-income women of color who obtain the medication through illegal means.


Women on Web: Happy Robotic Telepresent Scientific 2019

Happy Robotic Telepresent Scientific 2019

Dec 20, 2018
Women on Web

Dear friends,

From January 1th 2019, the abortion pill will be legally available through general physicians in Ireland.

The first abortion ship campaign of Women on Waves visited Ireland in 2001 and Women on Web has facilitated safe abortions with pills to women living in Ireland since 2006.