The 2022 Sheldon Segal Lecture: Dr. Rebecca Gomperts

November 3, 2022

7:30 pm-8:30 pm

Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, United States

Event Website

On Thursday, November 3rd, Rebecca Gomperts, MD, MPP, PhD, will deliver the 2022 Sheldon Segal Lecture. The lecture is named in honor of former Population Council Vice President Shelly Segal. Shelly, a giant in the field of contraceptive R&D, oversaw the team of scientists that invented the field of modern long-acting reversible contraceptives – Mirena®, ParaGard®, and Norplant®. Shelly was a recipient of the 1984 UN Population Award, the Prix Galien US prize, and many other honors and commendations.


In his honor, the Population Council co-hosts the annual Sheldon Segal Lecture Series with the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, another organization about which he cared deeply. Past Lecturers include Dr. Alan E. Guttmacher, former Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, University Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine at Columbia University; and Nobel Laureate Dr. Cristiane Nüsslein-Volhard of the Max Planck Institute.


This year, We are thrilled to host Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, Founder and Director of Women on Waves, Women on Web, and Aid Access. Gomperts is a doctor and abortion provider licensed in Austria and based in the Netherlands. For over two decades, her organization, Women on Waves, has provided safe abortions on ships in international waters near countries where abortion is illegal, and delivered pills across borders using drones or robots. In 2005, she created Women on Web to provide medical abortions via the mail around the globe. In 2018, Gomperts launched Aid Access to provide medication abortions to Americans using tele-health and the U.S. mail.


Gomperts has a Master of Public Policy from Princeton University and a PhD from the Karolinska Institutet. Gomperts also wrote a novel, “Zeedrift,” and has published many articles and essays. Gomperts has received numerous awards, including the Women making History award by Planned Parenthood of New York City (2002), the Margaret Sanger Woman of Valor award (2004), and the Allan Rosenfield Award for Lifetime Contributions to International Family Planning (2012).


It is required that all guests be vaccinated, with booster doses encouraged. Please bring proof of vaccination to show at Cornell security. Masks are encouraged, but not required, in the auditorium. No food or drink is permitted in the auditorium.


The event will not be live streamed. For those unable to attend in person, a recording can be provided after the event.


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