This month was the New York premier for Vessel, a documentary about Women on Waves (WoW). It’s a sad reality that an organization like WoW is needed today.
Dutch physician, human rights activist and artist, Rebecca Gomperts, founded WoW in 1999 to perform safe abortions and support desperate women in countries where this procedure is illegal.
Stationed on a ship, Gomperts’ crew uses the laws governing international waters to bring abortions and contraceptive services to women with no other alternative.
Despite legal, political, religious and logistical hurdles, Gomperts and her team are persevering with creative solutions that enable them to educate and empower women around the world to have more say in the policies that are being made about their bodies.
Although abortion is legal in the United States, with mounting restrictions surrounding it and women’s contraceptive rights, WoW may be sailing our way soon.
Additionally, individual states can restrict abortion policy. Texas, for example, has been severely affected by controversial anti-abortion law.
Before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, illegal abortions harmed and killed many women in the U.S. According to one study, one in four deaths among Caucasian women and one in two among African American women were caused by abortions in the early 1960s.
WoW’s message is simple: we need to put the power back in women’s hands. Making abortions safe, legal and accessible should be our goal.