Friday, April 29, 2016

"Women on Web" provides information and access to medication abortion

NBC News (April 29, 2016): Abortion in Europe: Rebecca Gomperts Takes Entrepreneurial Approach, by Cassandra Vinograd:

Ten years ago, Dr. Rebecca Gomperts founded Women on Waves, a ship that sailed to countries where abortion was illegal to offer abortion services in international waters.   Since 2006, Gomperts and Women on Web have been using the internet to provide information about abortion and to ship medication to self-induce abortion to women around the world. The website uses an online platform that refers women to doctors after they complete an online consultation. Women who use the service are asked to make a donation, but services are free for women who can’t afford to donate.

In addition to providing women with access to medication abortion, Women on Web’s helpdesk receives 10,000 emails a month. Its staff is trained in a dozen languages and includes five doctors. Many of the website’s visitors are from countries like Poland, which has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. However, messages to the website indicate that even in countries with less restrictive laws, access to information about abortion still remains a challenge. Indeed, although Women on Web is based in Europe, its helpdesk receives many inquiries from the U.S.

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