Women on Waves

Women on Waves abbreviated as WoW ‘ whose Spanish translation would be Mujeres Sobre Olas is a Dutch abortion advocacy association created in 1999 by the physician Rebecca Gomperts with the intention of facilitating access to reproductive health and family planning services, To allow abortion through non-surgical methods to women in countries with very restrictive abortion laws . WoW also facilitates access to contraceptive methods and information on reproduction, prevention of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions around the world. 1

The services indicated were performed on a boat that was converted into a mobile clinic specially prepared to perform abortions. When the ship visited a country the interested women asked for appointment and embarked in the ship. The ship sailed to international waters where the Dutch laws were the only ones that had effect on what happened in the ship. Once within that jurisdiction abortion interventions were performed.

In 2001 the Aurora ship of WoW visited Ireland with two Dutch doctors and a nurse. 2 In 2003 he visited Poland with the Langenort . 3 The importance of this visit has been pointed out because there was a significant increase of people who supported abortion after the passage of the ship according to the Official Statistical Agency of Poland. 4 In 2004 the attempt to enter Portuguese waters was prevented by the government that refused to allow them entry and blocked their entry physically with warships. 5 In 2008 the ship of Woman on Waves arrived in Valencia where it was received both by supporters and detractors who allegedly prevented any woman from embarking.


  1. Back to top↑ Women on Waves, in Spanish
  2. Back to top↑ Chocano, Carina. «The” abortion boat “steams toward Ireland» (HTML) . Salon.com . Consulted on February 1, 2008 .
  3. Back to top↑ Frenkiel, Olenka; Agnew, Lara (Oct. 26 2003), http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/correspondent/3187614.stm |contribution-url=Untitled ( help ) , in O’Connor, Karen, Abortion Ship , UK : BBC News
  4. Back to top↑ “Women on Waves Cleared of Accusations in Poland” (HTML) . Wire story . Feminist Daily News. 6 November 2003 . Consulted on February 1, 2008 .
  5. Back to top↑ Feminist Daily news About what happened in Portugal