Wrapping up the year with courage and gratitude
Women on Web | End Of The Year Newsletter
Women on Web is a global online abortion service that supports people to access abortion pills in almost 200 countries.
Our international team of helpdesk members, activists, researchers, doctors and digital rights advocates provides access to safe and affordable online abortion care centered around the rights, privacy and preferences of women and pregnant people.
We are driven by social and digital innovations that expand abortion access and catalyze policy change and passionate about empowering people with actionable, evidence-based abortion information.
Celebrating Our 2022 Impact in Numbers
At Women on Web, we are honored to support people worldwide to access abortion pills and comprehensive abortion information. We are grateful for our committed and caring help desk. This year alone, they answered 84,000 messages in 19 different languages.
In 2022, we received 33,350 requests for abortion care and we supported 19% more people than in 2021. In countries such as Malta, Poland, Chile, Philippines and Saudi Arabia, our service is one of the few safe, private and affordable ways to have an abortion.
In 2022, we also scaled up our service and formed a coalition of organizations and activists to enable free access to abortion with pills for Ukrainian refugees.
Since Women on Web was first launched in 2005, our help desk has responded to 1,304,700 messages and our service has supported over 116,000 people to have an abortion with pills!
We want to thank everyone who supported us in 2022. You make our work possible!
Help us continue providing safe and private access to abortion with pills by making a donation. Better yet, become a Women on Web monthly donor!
Abortion Pills for Future Use
In 2022, we launched our advance provision service to enable people who are not pregnant to order pills, just in case they need them in the future.
Providing access to abortion pills before they are needed helps overcome restrictions to abortion care and enables people to access abortions earlier in their pregnancy.
In less than a year, our advance provision service has received 664 requests. It is available in more than 80 countries all over the world, including Poland and Malta where most of our requests are coming from.
Help us raise awareness of advance provision in your country. It’s all about being prepared for the unexpected.
We Won! - Lawsuit against Spain for Blocking Women on Web Website
The Supreme Court of Spain has ordered the partial unblocking of our website after two years of court battles led by Women's Link Worldwide and Women on Web.
The decision recognizes that online information on sexual and reproductive rights including abortion is protected by the right to information and freedom of expression.
Spain blocked our website at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic while demand for online abortion services was soaring. Soon after, Women's Link filed a lawsuit on behalf of Women on Web to challenge the censorship and defend the right to sexual and reproductive health information on the internet.
This is a significant win for Women on Web and freedom of information worldwide. The Supreme Court decision gives us courage to continue our work at the intersection of reproductive and digital rights and to continue fighting with similar lawsuits in Turkey and South Korea, where our websites remain blocked.
Research: Online abortion care is essential, not just a last resort
To catalyze service and policy change, Women on Web leads research on the safety and efficacy of telemedicine abortion and demand for online abortion services across the world. In 2022, Women on Web research and data fuelled action against persistent access barriers in Canada, Japan, South Korea and South Africa.
In 2023, we look forward to working with researchers and activists, analyzing our online consultation data and sharing the findings to improve abortion access, advocating for demedicalization and normalizing home abortions.
Collaborative work on abortion self-care
Women on Web has been a proud member of the Global Consortium for Abortion and Reproductive Self-care since 2021. The consortium brings together 15 organizations from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean to develop person-centered and context-sensitive advocacy and service models that further the paradigm of abortion self-care.
We have been inspired by the work of the other consortium members and grateful to assist in the design of their abortion self-care prototypes. In addition to providing 1:1 support to member organizations, Women on Web delivered several workshops on telemedicine abortion, abortion self-care, hotlines and digital security for the consortium. We are eager to see what our collaborators build together as they pilot their projects in 2023.
Abortion Service Pilot Program Launched in South Africa
Women on Web is helping Abortion Support South Africa pilot a low-cost telemedical abortion service. Care-seekers complete an online consultation and are referred to a doctor who prescribes abortion pills to be picked up at a local pharmacy.
We know that abortion legality does not mean abortion access. In South Africa, abortion has been legal since 1996, but an estimated 50% of public clinics designated by the government to provide abortion are failing to do so. But advocates are making strides, and expanded access through telemedicine is gaining momentum.
This pilot demonstrates the crucial role of grassroots support networks like Abortion Support South Africa in designing innovative solutions to access barriers in their communities. It also highlights the importance of pharmacists facilitating access to abortion pills in a retail setting, just like with other safe, common medications. We are proud to support this important work and will continue developing partnerships to enable context-adapted telemedicine abortion models in Africa. Meet one of the South African doctors, Dr Marijke Alblas, who is making it all happen by clicking here.
Help us ensure access to safe abortion in South Africa by donating to the initiation of a South African abortion service.
4 Demands to Big Tech for Abortion Rights
Women on Web, Women First Digital, and Reproaction, along with allies working in digital sexual and reproductive spaces, are challenging Big Tech companies and exposing digital suppression of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) content.
Our demands address the biased and misinformed policies that technology providers have adopted around online abortion information:
- Reform Google’s screening criteria for health content to promote medically accurate information about abortion and online abortion providers. This reform will also clamp down on fake clinics and anti-abortion websites.
- Push for more nuanced Google ads policies that certify online abortion providers worldwide and recognize that safe and high-quality abortion care does not exclusively take place in a hospital, clinic, or physician’s office.
- Hold social media platforms accountable for flagging misinformation/ disinformation about abortion, much like they were pushed to do in response to COVID-19 and US election fraud disinformation.
- Provide increased transparency around social media content moderation policies
Digital suppression is an overt threat to global sexual and reproductive healthcare that increasingly depends on digital tools to deliver services and disseminate information.
Women on Web expected to speak at Rights Con 2023
In our effort to fight digital suppression of online abortion information, Women on Web is planning to join the next Rights Con session in Costa Rica June 4th-8th.
We will be discussing how abortions cannot be stopped by introducing more restrictions or closing down clinics. Instead, governments and anti-abortion groups are preventing people’s access to reliable abortion information by censoring websites and spreading disinformation. Online abortion information has become the new battleground for abortion rights.
Please stay tuned as we will be sharing more information about our Rights Con sessions soon!
Women on Web wishes all of our friends and supporters a Happy New Year. Please follow our work in 2023 as we continue to work towards a future where everyone can access abortion with respect and dignity.
Take Action: Support Women on Web and Abortion Access Worldwide
Donate to Women on Web
Your donation makes our work at Women on Web possible and helps ensure that thousands of people worldwide have access to safe abortion care. Help us continue providing safe and private access to abortion with pills by making a donation or becoming a monthly Women on Web donor.
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