Applaud Doctor’s Efforts to Expand Access to Abortion Worldwide


Target: Rebecca Gomperts, MD, MPP, Founder of Women on Waves and Women on Web

Goal: Thank Dr. Gomperts for advocating for women’s right to a safe, medical abortion

As the ship doctor on a Greenpeace vessel, Rebecca Gomberts encountered several women, who shared with her the hardships they endured from lack of access to reproductive health services and safe legal abortions.  Driven to help, Gomperts conducted legal and medical research, discovering that in a Dutch-registered ship in international waters, she could sail into a country where abortion was restricted or illegal. Once on board and in international waters, women could legally receive the means to do medical abortions, using mifepristone and misoprostol pills to induce miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy.

After the Portuguese government sent two warships to block Gomperts’ ship, she decided to appear on a Portuguese talk show instead. Holding up a packet of pills, she detailed exactly how to induce a safe at-home abortion, specifying how many pills to take in addition to warning of possible pain and how to relieve it.

Realizing the broader impact she could make through the Internet, Gomperts started Women on Web. Through this telemedicine support service, a help desk staff responds daily to thousands of help-emails from women in countries where abortion clinics are nonexistent or highly restricted, according to a recent New York Times article. Grounded in a fairly radical idea, Women on Web connects women with doctors who consult with them and can write them prescriptions for the pills to perform at-home medical abortions. In addition to fostering a sense of community among women who have had abortions and individuals and organizations for abortion rights, Women on Web also provides reliable health information to help women make well-informed decisions about their bodies. By signing the petition below, you can thank Dr. Gomperts and the staff of Women on Web for working to uphold the reproductive rights of women around the world.


Dear Dr. Gomperts,

I am writing to thank you for expanding access to safe and legal medical abortions for women all around the world. In undertaking Women on Waves, your leadership galvanized abortions rights activists on a global scale and helped women to make better-informed decisions about their bodies.

Today, your telemedicine support service Women on Web brings together women who have had abortions with organizations and individuals advocating for abortion rights. You are connecting women in need to doctors who can offer them counsel and help them procure the means to a safe, legal medical abortion. By illuminating such an option, you have empowered women to know that in the event of an unwanted pregnancy, they do not need to endanger themselves. Thank you for fighting for a woman’s right to make her own choices and for helping her stay safe in in her decision.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: openDemocracy via flickr

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