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 offered a range of activities and services including workshops and information on sexual health. In additions to these services, the medical staff could also provide safe and legal early medical abortion care (till 45 days of pregnancy) after sailing into international waters, which is 12 miles off the coast, where Dutch law applies.
Occasionally Women on Waves is accused of being a media stunt, a PR machine only set up for the hungry eyes of the press. Supposedly, they only stir up a lot of trouble in peaceful Catholic countries where women do not have the right to decide what can be removed from their uterus. Apparently Lees meer »
Abortion was legal in Poland until 1993, only 10 years ago. After the fall of the communist regime, the Catholic Church managed to push its aggressively anti-abortion, anti-contraceptives stance onto the mainstream political agenda. Every year since 1993 between 80.000 and 200.000 women seek… Lees meer »
What was the effect...
On the 20 th of June 2003, the Women on Waves vessel Langenort arrived in Polish waters. After 2 days of struggle, the ship moored in the harbour of Wladyslawowo. The ship was greeted by a large group of supporters and some protesters from the political party League of Polish Families (LPR) who… Lees meer »
Media coverage Poland 2003
For more then 2 weeks the Women on Waves ship was the main topic in all newspapers, television and radio. Abortion was discussed openly and in depth in the media, on the streets, in homes, bars and parliament. During our stay we witnessed an enormous change in the way the discussion about abortion… Lees meer »
Fetus might be protected by constitutional article in Poland *
The mobile clinic
The mobile clinic was designed and build by Joep van Lieshout Lees meer »