Women on Web

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Women on Web is primarily a website which is a service for setting up acquiring of abortion pills for women in countries where they do not have access to abortion.[1]

About

The main page of the website has the headline of "I need an abortion." The service is done as a referral and with a consultation and a donation of 90 Euro, a woman is put in contact with a doctor and the abortion pills are delivered from a pharmacy. The website describes the termination of a pregnancy via the abortion pill as a safe procedure, similar to a miscarriage, claiming that women can do the procedure themselves at home, with little supervision and a low need for medical followup.[1] Women on Web also makes the claim, more than once, that an online consultation with a doctor is very similar to a face to face consultation. [2] While the website does mention a few deaths that have occurred as a result of taking the abortion pill, [3] there have been more documented risks and deaths than how Women on Web chooses to portray abortions induced through the abortion pill. [4]

In addition to serving as a referral service by forwarding information women provide through a consultation, Women on Web describes itself as "a digital community" and "an international collective" which answers e-mails from women asking for help, or providing help, regarding abortion. The website also mentions that the "website is collection of personal experiences and a source of reliable information. It supports access to safe abortion services to protect women's lives and health." There are also links to pages regarding assistance on acquiring abortion pills, with which the website claims is "reliable information, women sharing their stories about their abortions, and a list of "highly respected" organizations, foundations and individuals which support Women on Web. There are also studies, articles and videos pertaining to the mission of Women on Web. [5]

How to Get a Safe Medical Abortion?

With the subtitle of "Protect your health and your life!" on this page devoted to one of Women on Web's most proactive services, there is more information about how a woman goes about the referral system of getting herself abortion pills. The page claims this service is done to "reduce the number of deaths due to unsafe abortions." After filling out an online consultation of about 25 questions, and there are no contraindications, [6] the woman is asked to disclose all her medical information to the doctor and to make a donation of a minimum of 90 Euro. A woman can only receive help from the doctor if she is in a country where access to abortion is restricted, less than 9 weeks pregnant, and has no severe illnesses. The page merely says to have a pregnancy and ultrasound done "if possible." [7]

I had an abortion

The other aspect of Women on Web is to be a sort of support page for women who have already had abortions, where "people can donate their portraits and share their stories to break the taboo surrounding abortion." There is an option for women to "show your face" and submit their first (and last, if desired) name, as well as choose a portrait, to write about their abortion if they so choose to "[b]reak the taboo and give mental support to women around the world." [8] A visitor to the site can choose to view all of the 2,469 portraits, or can click on a word from a list of tags, which include, "Reasons for abortion," "Types of abortion," (which are not limited to the abortion pill), "Feelings about abortion," "My abortion was," (legal or illegal), and "Religion." [9]

Facts

Every 6 minutes a woman dies needlessly

Women on Web makes the claim that "[i]nduced abortion is one of the most performed medical interventions. Making abortion illegal does not reduce the number of abortions. 20 million of the 42 million abortions performed annually are illegal and unsafe. Legalization of abortion can prevent unnecessary suffering and death of women." There is picture of an "unsafe abortion death" as well as more information following, which mentions women living where abortion is restricted or illegal and about the recognizing of unsafe abortion as a major problem at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. Case studies are also pointed out which support Women on Web's agenda. Women on Web also provides statistics from World Health Organization (WHO) and claims that "[r]estrictive abortion laws violate women's human rights based on agreements made at the UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 1 & 3 &12 &19 & 27.1)." [10]

Abortion Laws Worldwide

Women on Web mentions that "[a]pproximately 25% of the world's population lives in countries with highly restrictive abortion laws, mostly in Latin America, Africa and Asia." A map of the world is provided, with countries a different color to represent their abortion law status, with a key provided. For RED countries on the map, abortion is permitted only to save the mother's life. For PINK countries on the map, abortion is permitted to save the mother's life or to protect her physical health. For YELLOW countries on the map, abortion is permitted to protect the mother's mental health. For BLUE countries on the the map, abortion is permitted on socioeconomic grounds and for WHITE countries on the map, abortion is available on request. There is also a list of the red and pink countries by continent/region. [11]

Abortion Myths

There is the claim that "Many myths about abortion have been created by people who are against choice." Along with an image of the "abortion monster," The "myths" listed include Fertility Problems, Medical Problems, and Psychological Problems. [12] While Women on Web claims that women do not have fertility problems, medical problems and are not at an increased risk for psychological problems, the website does not list any sources documenting these claims, nor does it list its sources for who has made such claims about so-called "myths" and why they are wrong. All three claims of fertility problems, [13] medical problems, such as breast cancer, [14] and psychological problems [15] have been made and for many women are more than just a "myth."

Organisations, foundations and Individuals

Women on Web has a page listing those organisations and others who support what they do, some having links and logos provided as well. There is also an invitation to be added to the list and join the network, by sending an e-mail. These listed include:

Questions and Answers

Women on Web has a "Question and Answers" page, with questions which are answered by Women on Web, to mostly promote the abortion pill service Women on Web provides through its consultations. The question topics include: "General," "Pregnancy," "Precautions," "Medical abortion," "The abortion process," "Complications of Medical Abortion," and "Abortion After-Care." There is also a pdf file link to "Frequently asked questions about medical abortion by WHO." [17] While Women on Web does answer questions to do with these topics, it generally portrays medical abortion, with the pills used and the process, as a normal experience to go through. [18]

Discuss

Women on Web has a page with the option of becoming a Women on Web member [19] and links to "Latest stories" [20] and "Active Forums" [21] pages.

How to Contact

Since Women on Web is an online organization which interacts with women from all different countries all over the world, there is no phone number listed. Women are encouraged to contact the organization with any questions or support by e-mail. The address for Women on Web network is located in the Netherlands. [5]

Other Features

Reference List

Women on Web provides a list of references from which there information is from. On this same page includes further readings of "Psychological studies," "Timing of Misoprostol administration," and "Use of mifepristone and misoprostol in nonpregnant women." [22]

Women on Web's website provides an option for donating, with the subtitle "Help save women's lives!" The page includes quotes from women in various languages who have been helped by Women on Web. The page states that "[y]our donation ensures that our helpdesk can continue to answer questions to women around the world and support access to safe medical abortion services. Donations for the Women on Web project are made to Women’s Wallet, a non-profit organization. The donation will be used to keep the website online and to cover the expenses of the service." The various ways to donate include with a credit card, bank transfer, sending a check or PayPal donation. There is also a link involving "informing my social network." [23]

Pregnancy Calculator

On the sidebar of some of its pages, Women on Web has a "Pregnancy Calculator" tool, to estimate how far along a woman is in her pregnancy based upon when her last menstrual period was. This is provided because the site states, as it does in this tool, that it is best for the mother if the abortion pill is taken before 9 weks into the pregnancy. [7]

Facebook

Women on Web currently has (as of September 3, 2012), 2,122 "likes" on its Facebook page. The page mostly posts information about events, people and articles, and likes other pro-abortion pages. [24] Information about its website is also listed in several languages besides English. Women on Web has been on Facebook since December 24, 2010. [25] Facebook statistics show that the page's most popular week was August 19, 2012, that its most popular city is Warsaw, Poland and that its most popular age group is 25-34 years old. [26]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Women on Web: I need an abortion (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  2. Women on Web: Questions and Answers-Is it safe to get a consultation for a medical abortion over the internet? (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  3. Women on Web: Questions and Answers-Is a medical abortion dangerous? (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  4. Lifenews.com: Report: RU 486 Kills 1.2M Children, Injures Thousands of Women, Steven Ertelt, June 5, 2012 (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Women on Web:About Women on Web (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  6. Women on Web: Questions and Answers-What is a contraindication and how do you know if you have one? (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Women on Web: How to get a safe medical abortion? (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  8. Women on Web: Show your face (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  9. Women on Web: I had an abortion (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  10. Women on Web: Facts-Every 6 minutes a woman dies needlessly from a unsafe, illegal abortion (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  11. Women on Web: Facts-Abortion Laws Worldwide (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  12. Women on Web: Facts-Abortion Myths (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  13. Lifenews.com: Associated Press Falsely Claims Abortions Don’t Cause Infertility Problems, Steven Ertelt, August 16, 2007 (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  14. Lifenews.com: Abortion-Breast Cancer: 53 of 66 Studies in 54 Years Show Link, Stacy Trasancos, January 2, 2012 (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  15. Lifenews.com: Of Course Abortion Causes Mental Health Problems for Women, Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, October 18, 2011 (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  16. Women on Web: Organisations, foundations and Individuals (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  17. Women on Web: Questions and Answers (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  18. Women on Web: Questions and Answers-"When will you start bleeding and how long will it last?" (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  19. Women on Web: Discuss (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  20. Women on Web: Latest stories (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  21. Women on Web: Active Forums (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  22. Women on Web: Reference List (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  23. Women on Web: Donate Now (accessed on September 2, 2012)
  24. Facebook: Women on Web (accessed on September 3, 2012)
  25. Facebook: Women on Web-About (accessed on September 3, 2012)
  26. Facebook: Women on Web-Likes (accessed on September 3, 2012)