How does it feel to devote your own life for a useful purpose?
We are very grateful that we can do this work as every day we receive emails from a woman somewhere in the world who writes us that we saved her live, But more importantly we also have a lot of fun during the campaigns and I work with great team that is motivated to work hard. For example this we received today:
"I would just like to send a big thank you email to you and your organisation for your incredible help and support service you offered me. It made an incredible difference and I wanted to tell you of my gratitude for your service. It all went well and the support was just tremendous. Thanks again and god bless"
When and how did you get interested on the abortion issue?
I have always been concerned with social justice. As a doctor and a woman I was shockedwhen I learned about the consequences of restricted sexual education and limited access to contraception and abortion. And abortion is an social justice issue as the restrictions willingly affect women without financial means or access to information, the most vulnerable women in society cannot access safe abortion services when there are obstacles. For example in turkey, women need the approval of their partner, so women in an abusive relationship will not be able to access it, more and more pubic hospitals refuse to provide abortion services, so only women with money to pay for a private clinic can access one. In rural areas there are no clinical or hospitals so only women who can travel can access one. The availability of Abortion pills in a pharmacy could solve all these problems but these medicines are not registered in Turkey.
How can you define the main purpose of Women in Waves? And how can you help the pregnant women? How can they reach you?
Worldwide 43 million women have an abortion every year. A medical abortion can be done with misoprostol and mifepristone, the most effective regiment or with misoprostol alone. The medicines are on the list of essential Medicines of the WHO and scientific research has shown they can be used safely by women themselves at home. Women on Waves is a Dutch non-profit organization with the aim to prevent unsafe abortions. It uses different tactics and strategies to provide safe medical abortion and information to achieve this mission. Ship’ campaigns, safe abortion hotlines, training and technical support to grassroots women’s organizations, the internet, drones, collaboration with artists and scientific research. To overcome the problem with accessing medical abortions, Women on Waves founded Women on Web in 2006 based on values of trust, justice and solidarity, to facilitate one of its missions to provide safe abortion services. Women who need access to safe medical abortion can do an online consultation on the Women on Web website. The service is now well accepted and recognized by the international community. The Women on Web helpdesk answered approximately 100 000 help emails in 16 languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French, Italian, Polish, Turkish, Farsi, Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, Dutch, German, Japanese, Tagalog and Korean) and helped thousands of women assess high quality abortion medicines and care. Many women posted their abortion stories on the website. By sharing their stories women help to break the taboo and support other women who need an abortion. To read one of the moving stories, click here
How long does it take to treat a woman?
A medical abortion is a process like a miscarriage. After women do the online consultation with Women on Web here in turkish https://www.womenonweb.org/tr/i-need-an-abortion. It takes 2 weeks for the package to arrive. A woman should swallow the mifepristone tablets and 24 hours later the 4 misoprostol tablets under the tongue and again 2 tablets 3 hours later , The miscarriage process starts with cramping and bleeding like or more than a menstruation. The cramps will diminish within a few hours and menstrual bleeding can last for a few weeks. After 3 weeks women should do a pregnancy test to confirm the abortion was complete
What has changed for Women on Waves after the boat was prevented from entering international water in Portugal
When the ship arrived at Portuguese national waters in 2004, the Portuguese minister of defence, Paulo Portas forbids the ship to enter national waters. Even though the ship will not violate any Portuguese, Dutch or international laws with the activities on board, the Minister of Defence claims the ship poses a severe threat to the national security. This in spite of the fact that the ship does not carry any weapons and that none of the crew or volunteers has ever committed or been convicted for a crime. By denying the ship entry to Portuguese waters, the Minister violates all the international and European conventions and international recognized rights. After it becomes clear the Borndiep will not be able to enter Portuguese waters, Women on Waves decides to use another means to help Portuguese women with unwanted pregnancies and announces in the media it will publish a protocol on its website describing what the safest way is of using Misoprostol. This was the first time ever that information for women about the best and safest way to use misoprostol for a medical abortion was published in the internet. We started getting a lot of emails from women who could not find Misoprostol. We could solve this problem for women when Women on web was launched 1 1/2 year later. The Portuguese government fell 2 months after the ships visit, and the new elected government make legalising abortion its priority and on 10th of April 2007 Portugal's president ratified a law allowing women to obtain abortions until the 10th week of pregnancy.
Maya Angelou once stated that: “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” What is waiting the womanhood in the 21st century? Should we be a little bit optimistic at least?
For me all people who get out of their comfort zone and respond to other peoples need with compassion but at the same time respect other peoples right to autonomy and privacy, are heroes.