Women on Waves sets sail to Poland

Polish civil rights and women's organizations have invited Women on Waves to support them in their struggle for legal and safe abortion in Poland. Abortion was legal ten years ago.

Women on Waves can provide safe and legal early medical abortion care on board their ship by sailing to international waters, 12 miles off the coast of any foreign country. Dutch law applies in international waters on board a Dutch ship. Women on Waves has the permission of the Dutch Ministry of Health to provide the abortion pill to women who have missed their period for no longer than 16 days, in other words: until 6.5 weeks after the last menstruation.

Due to the restrictive Polish law, Women on Waves will not discuss the abortion services it can offer on Polish territory as this may violate Polish anti-abortion law. Our legal counsel in Gdynia is the law firm of Tomasz Kopoczynski.

The ship of Women on Waves will be in W�adys�awowo on Saturday June 21st and will stay in port for two weeks and will sail to international waters several times.

In the mobile clinic on the ship, the medical staff of Women on Waves will offer a range of activities and services including workshops on medical health issues for medical professionals, information on sexual health, contraceptives and morning-after pill. Our medical staff consists of an experienced nurse, an abortion doctor and a gynecologist. The counseling, medical care and post-abortion care comply with the strict norms set by Dutch law. Dutch abortion care is one of the safest in the world. The mobile clinic on board of the ship is outfitted with all necessary equipment and approved by the inspection of the Dutch Ministry of Health (VWS).

Women who want to receive information can call our hotline:

The hotline number is 503 366 466
The hotline will be open from Friday June 20th from 20.00.
(This is NOT a contact number for journalists!!!!)

Women on Waves is a non-profit organization dedicated to provide medical information and services. No costs are incurred by the patient.

A press conference will be given in W�adys�awowo, gen. Jozefa Hallera 19 on Saturday 21st of June at 11 o'clock.

Abortion is the most frequently performed medical procedure in the world. Making abortion illegal does not reduce the number of abortions. It only means that it is done illegally, unsafely and at a very high price, financially as well as physically. As a result of these ?backstreet? abortions every five minutes a woman dies unnecessarily worldwide.
As long as the issues of unwanted pregnancy and abortion are surrounded by taboo, silence and shame, laws will not change and neither will the problems of women with unwanted pregnancies.
By setting sail to countries where abortion is illegal or restricted, Women on Waves wants to make the reality of women's need for legal, safe abortion services visible. The Women on Waves project will not be able to solve the problems of Polish women; this is the role and responsibility of Polish decision-makers.

For more information visit our website: www.womenonwaves.org


Note for the press:

A general press conference will be given on Saturday June 21st in the City Hall of Wladyslawowo at 11,00 hours.

Saturday June 21 the ship and its mobile clinic will be open to the public. Journalists will have to register at the harbor to be admitted to the ship. Please bring your press card and passport.

For interviews with Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, president Women on Waves or Dr. Gunilla Kleiverda, gynecologist for Women on Waves and visits to the ship and mobile clinic please contact the press officers:
+48 503 366 211
+48 503 366 475

Or send an e-mail to press@womenonwaves.org

Contact information Polish groups, active from Saturday June 21st
tel: +48 507 832741
Or see www.aborcja.net