Europe's "Abortion Drone" Starts Making Flights

Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images.
Drones have been hailed as the future of shipping, surveillance, and even war. But to feminist groups in Europe, they could be an essential tool for providing women with access to abortion. On Saturday, a drone will deliver abortion pills from Germany to a border town in Poland, where abortion is illegal in all but a handful of circumstances.

The "abortion drone" is a collaboration between Women on Waves (a group that sails to countries where the procedure is outlawed and provides medication abortions while anchored in international waters) and European groups dedicated to improving women's rights in Poland.

While the concept of flying abortion pills might seem strange, it's medically safe to take these pills and then check in with a doctor over the phone; according to some U.S. studies, this is just as effective as taking the pills in a doctor's office. Two U.S. states, Iowa and Minnesota, allow abortion pills via so-called telemedicine (women in remote areas can call or video-conference their doctors to avoid multiple long trips to a clinic), although the practice is banned in many others.

Rebecca Gomperts, the founder of Women on Waves, told the New York Times in March that Saturday's drone flight is only the first step for pill delivery. "Initially it will be a very small drone, not a large one like the ones DHL, Amazon, and Google are using," she said.

Of all the countries in Europe, abortion only remains illegal in Poland, Ireland, and Malta. Women on Waves has been operating since 1999, and Vessel, a documentary about its efforts, was released earlier this year.
Advertisement

More from Global News

Actress Emma Watson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down Wednesday to talk about gender equality. The Harry Potter star was in Ottawa ...
The bill lowers the age at which children can receive a prison sentence from 14 to 12, for involvement in “acts of terror,” which are described as “murder...
In case you had gone too long without remembering that women are unreasonably punished for not being amenable and interested in men at all times, here's an...
I want to continue to support female activists, and hope that by starting with a small, singular task like refusing straws, I can encourage each one of you...
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may be everyone's favorite woke bae, but there's a tiny royal who was not exactly impressed by him last weekend. ...
A ruling last month by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that Iranian women could not ride bicycles because it "attracts the attention of men and exposes the ...
“It’s a special school for me because I was a student there. But I don’t think I can see a way back there now,” she said
(Paid Content) 2016 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record. How many thousands of studies will have to be published before everyone is on board ...
For many refugees, the struggle to survive doesn't end after fleeing war-torn Syria. With the help of 17-year-old Khaldeya, we're taking you straight to ...
Here's your daily cry: A little boy from New York is inviting a Syrian child his age to come and live with him in safety. “We will give him a family, and ...
Natasha Maimba, 14, and Minahil Sarfraz, 15, do a lot of the same things any teen girls do. Maimba plays the guitar. Sarfraz likes to mug for the camera...
Emma Watson addressed the U.N. General Assembly again Tuesday, delivering a powerful speech calling for the reform of campus sexual assault policies. ...
Michelle Obama appeared at one of Broadway's landmark theaters Monday, taking the stage along with some of the industry's biggest stars. No, FLOTUS isn...
International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and her client Nadia Murad are teaming up to sue ISIS. Murad, a Yazidi woman who says she prayed for death ...