Abortion Ship Campaigns


Women on Waves sails a ship to countries where abortion is illegal. With the use of a ship, early medical abortions can be provided safely, professionally and legally. Applicability of national penal legislation, and thus also of abortion law, extends only to territorial waters; outside that 12-mile radius (or 2 hours sailing) it is thus Dutch law that applies on board the ship, which means that all our activities are legal.
Millions of women worldwide have used Mifepristone and Misoprostol to terminate pregnancy with impressive safety and efficacy. The medicines have been on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines since 2005.
Women on Waves has already created enormous public interest in its efforts and has completed successful campaigns in Ireland (2001), Poland (2003,) and Portugal (2004), Spain (2008), Morocco (2012), Guatemala (2-2017) and Mexico (4-2017).

  • Abortion ship Mexico, April 2017

    Women on Waves arrived in Ixtapa on April 19 th on the invitation of more than 40 Mexican women's organisations. Abortion is only legal in Mexico DF since 10 years but abortion is still illegal in the rest of Mexico.
    On April 20 th, before announcing the campaign publicly, the ship… Read more »

  • Abortion ship Guatemala, February 2017

    In collaboration with women's rights organisations in Guatemala, the abortion ship has visited Guatemala from February 22 till 25 th, 2017 to call attention to the violation of women's human rights caused by the restrictive abortion laws. Although Guatemalan law only permits abortion to… Read more »

  • Abortion ship Morocco 2012

    MALI (alternative movement for individual liberties) invited Women on Waves to bring the abortion ship to Morocco. Here you can find the whole story, with video footage and photo's. Read more »

  • Abortion ship Spain 2008

    Women on Waves visited Spain from October 16 till 21, 2008 at the invitation of 33 Spanish organisations concerned with a better abortion law.
    In Spain, abortion was only legal when case the pregnancy poses a threat to the physical or mental health of the woman, or in case of rape or fetal… Read more »

  • Abortion ship Portugal 2004

    The Women on Waves ship Borndiep stayed in international waters, 12 miles from Figueira da Foz a small holliday town in Portugal, from August 28 till September 9, 2004. The ship was being blocked to enter Portuguese national waters by two Portuguese war ships. Read more »

  • Abortion ship Poland 2003

    On June 16, 2003 Women on Waves set sail for Poland. We were invited by a coalition of Polish women's organisations called the "STER committee- women decide", to support them in their struggle for legal and safe abortion. In the mobile clinic of the ship “Langenort”, Women on Waves… Read more »

  • Abortion ship Ireland 2001

    On 11 June 2001, Women on Waves set sail from the Netherlands with an almost entirely female crew for the Republic of Ireland, a country with the most restrictive abortion law in Europe. Women on Waves was invited by several Irish abortion rights organisations. Read more »