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Women on Waves to distribute RU 486. (International).

Holland's Minister of Health has authorized the activists of Women on Waves to provide the RU-486 pill (Mifepristone) to women in countries where the voluntary termination of pregnancy is prohibited. Mifepristone can be utilized up to 16 weeks after the date of the first missed menstruation and has very few side-effects. The abortion pill will be administered on board the hospital ship "Aurora," which is specially equipped with a complete gynecological consultation office. Dutch law will apply on board the ship which will travel international waters displaying the Dutch flag.

The Women on Waves program will also distribute contraceptives and information on family planning but will not be permitted to perform surgical abortions. While the Dutch activists are appealing this restriction, the government's decision is a definite improvement over the situation in June 2001 when the ship's abortion services were effectively stalled en route to Ireland, a country where abortion is prohibited. In this maiden voyage, Women on Waves was limited to providing information on contraceptive methods.

* For an update on the valiant actions of the Women on Waves initiative, visit the website: www. womenonwaves.org
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Publication:Women's Health Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUNE
Date:Jul 1, 2002
Words:186
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