Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Tuesday, 23 June 2015

DIY Abortions To Be Given To Polish Women…Via Drone

DIY Abortions To Be Given To Polish Women…Via Drone

The Debrief: This ultra-modern way of helping women out shows how technology outstrips social progress sometimes…

Drones are no longer the preserve of geeks or, say, Western heads of states who want to bomb people in far away lands without getting their hands bloody. Because now, they’re being used to send DIY abortion pills over to Poland, where access to abortions is severely restricted.

See, if you’re a woman in Poland and you get pregnant, even if you’re totally unprepared for a baby, the only way you can get an abortion is if there is proof that there’s a serious threat to yours or the foetus’ health, or if the pregnancy is a product of rape or incest.

That’s why a charity, called Women of the Waves, which normally posts DIY abortion pills to women in countries where abortion access is limited, is droning them in.

The drone thing isn’t because post is always checked in Poland or something, it’s half a publicity stunt to draw attention to what Women of the Waves do, and it’s half actually providing Polish women with DIY abortion pills. Because it’s estimated that at least 50,000 underground abortions take place each year in Poland.

‘I think it’s extremely important [to bring attention to this cause] because within Europe there’s so much inequality and difference in how women’s rights are being respected.

‘We can’t stop pointing out the lack of safe access to abortion and medical abortion pills. It’s a violation of women’s rights. We have to make every effort to make sure they get that access.’

Most European countries give women ‘on request’ access to abortions, but in Cyprus, Finland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and the UK, certain criteria have to be met (no, doctors won’t even fall for the simple ‘it’s my body and I want to do what I want with it’ argument).

The drone flies from Frankfurt in Germany, to Slubice in Poland, reports The Telegraph.

If it proves a success, the drones will take pills to Ireland, where 4,000 women a year have to leave for the UK to get an abortion.

While it won’t be illegal to drone the pills to either country, it will then be illegal for women to take the pills without approval from physicians or prosecutors or if she doesn’t fulfil the country’s draconian rules on abortion. A further loophole to this is that no Polish woman has been punished for taking abortion pills, and they can consult with doctors via Women on Waves or its Canadian sister site, Women on Web.

It’s so great that we have this technology to help women out, it’s a shame that so many of our world’s technological advances outstrip its social ones, though.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Tags: Around The World, Abortion, WTF News, Poland