Every 10 Minutes, A Woman Dies Because She Can't Get An Abortion. It Sent This Woman To Sea.
Sometimes a far-fetched idea you have turns into real life. And then into a movie.
Abortion is restricted throughout much of the world. That's a fact (and here's a map).
You can cheer or boo at that — up to you. But here's another fact: 47,000 women die every year because those restrictions keep them from accessing the abortion care they need. That's pretty awful.
Do restrictions on abortions mean that suddenly no one gets abortions anymore?
Absolutely not. Abortions *definitely* still happen regardless of what the laws say, and they always will. Restrictions and bans really just mean that abortions become way less safe because they take place under less-than-ideal circumstances and often not in a licensed, medical setting. It's a situation that can get real dangerous real fast.
It gave this woman a wild idea.
Rebecca Gomperts is a doctor who was upset at the amount of anti-abortion laws around the world and what they meant for all the women who desperately needed access to care.
So she outsmarted the law.
You only need to go 12 miles offshore for international waters to begin. That's not very far. And if you're on a boat in those waters, the laws of the country where the boat originated are the laws you must follow.
Not illegal. Not restricted. Legal.
So if you're on a Dutch ship, you can legally take the abortion pill.
Whoa. Mind blown.
Might I add: It's the abortion pill that's on the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines. It's legit. Thank you.
Rebecca and her team are making it happen through an organization called Women on Waves. In the last decade, the org has garnered a lot of attention — both good and bad — as they work to help women in need and advocate for more liberalized laws in the surrounding areas that have extreme anti-abortion laws in place. They currently have ship campaigns working in Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Morocco.
It's brave and fascinating. I mean, there's a reason why it was just turned into an award-winning documentary! The trailer here says it all: