A woman in Morocco looking for help is considering drinking bleach to end her pregnancy. In Poland, a rape victim says she’s thinking about hitting her stomach with a stick to induce a miscarriage. Another woman desperately emails, “I am not a monster, I just cannot have the baby.”
These are the distressed messages that Women on Waves receive every day from women who live in countries where abortion is illegal. The organisation, an activist group famous for providing abortions on a ship in international waters, has recently been chronicled in the award-winning film, Vessel. The movie follows the work of Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts and her crew as they work around various countries’ abortion laws – and sometimes just flout them – to help women end their pregnancies.