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VESSEL depicts medical doctor and Greenpeace worker Rebecca Gomperts who, horrified by the realities created by anti-abortion laws around the world, provides abortions on a ship in offshore waters. Her project – Women on Waves –  becomes a media frenzy, faced with governmental, religious, and military blockades.

Director: Diana Whitten
Year: 2014
Time: 90 min

(2014) on IMDb

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Ways to Influence

Share this film. Give others the chance to learn and be inspired by its story.

Be inspired by Women On Waves. Consider donating to the one of these organizations or join the movement by supporting or volunteering an organization on your local level.

Break the taboos, speaking openly about and demystifying the role abortion plays in modern society.

Endorse the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion, in order to strengthen their global mission to unite individual efforts to build a strong, united front for women’s rights.

Help Amnesty International  that campaigns for fair and safe contraceptive rights. Help their cause.

Related Articles and Resources

The Dawn of the Post-Clinic Abortion

“Gomperts no longer works from a boat. Eight years ago she started Women on Web, a “telemedicine support service” for women around the world who are seeking medical abortions. She and a small staff share a one-room office in Amsterdam on a residential street, where red-and-pink flowers bloom on the balconies of brick buildings.”

Read this in-dept article about Rebecca Gombert on The New York Times. 

Laws On Intentional Waters

“Dear Straight Dope:
I have heard that in international waters you can commit endless crimes with no jurisdiction to prosecute you. Is this true?”

Find out the answer here. 

The Stealth War on Abortion

“On the morning of December 11th, Gretchen Whitmer, the charismatic 42-year-old minority leader of the Michigan Senate, stood before her colleagues in the Statehouse in Lansing, and told them something she’d told almost no one before. ‘Over 20 years ago, I was a victim of rape,’ she said. ‘And thank God it didn’t result in a pregnancy…”

Read the full article on the Rolling Stone.

Abortion Restrictions in States

“Forty-one states have enacted abortion restrictions at different stages of pregnancy. The chart below shows at which point after a woman’s last menstrual period that state laws ban abortion. Each bar’s height is proportional to the state’s population.”

Check out the chart on The New York Times.

Women Matter More Than Fetuses Do

“Public discussion of abortion has come to inexorably privilege fetal life over female life. The imaginary futures—the “personhoods”—of the unborn have taken moral precedence over the adult women in whose bodies they grow. “

Read the full article on New Republic.

How I Lost Faith in the “Pro-Life” Movement

“The spring of my sophomore year of college I was president of my university’s Students for Life chapter. The fall of my junior year of college I cut my ties with the pro-life movement. Five years later I have lost the last shred of faith I had in that movement. This is my story.”

Read the full article here. 

Abortion In Ancient History

Find out about the opinions on abortion from ancient to present time on BBC. 


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