Women on Waves, Ireland, and the Abortion Ship Pilot Mission


  • Carly Rosen Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana


In 2000, Rebecca Gomperts founded the organization Women on Waves with the goal of providing legal abortions at sea for women in countries with strict abortion legislation. This case discusses the first mission of Women on Waves to Ireland in 2001, including the goals, obstacles, and successes of the organization. Along the way, the organization faced complications that hindered its ability to fulfill its goal of providing abortion services aboard the ship. The organization was forced to reevaluate its mission and develop new strategies to keep its pilot mission alive. After developing these strategies, which did not include providing abortions, Women on Waves had to assess whether they could do enough to cause noticeable social change.


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