A California doctor wants to use a boat to give women access to abortions. Its aim is to safely terminate pregnancy up to 14 weeks.
The US Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to an abortion in June. As a result, each state can now decide whether women have the right to terminate a pregnancy. In many states, especially in the American South, the right to abortion was abolished.
McAudrey, an obstetrics and gynecology specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, now wants to buy a boat and turn it into a floating abortion clinic. The mission is to station that abortion boat in the Gulf of Mexico. For example, residents of conservative states such as Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas can still safely obtain an abortion. “We have to be creative because our autonomy over our bodies is under attack,” says Audrey.
Abortion rights group PRROWESS has launched a campaign to raise money for the boat. It aims to help approximately 1,800 women every six months. Audrey says it will cost around $20 million (just under €20 million).
Once the necessary funds are raised, it will take six to nine months to convert the ship into an abortion boat. Abortions are carried out on board up to 14 weeks after the start of the abortion. The aim is also to provide contraceptives and STI tests.
Launches consider a boat to be in federal waters when it is more than 3 nautical miles (about 5.5 km) from shore. Consequently, the ship does not come under the jurisdiction of the launderer.
The idea of an abortion boat is not new. In 2001 the Dutch organization Women on Waves launched a similar initiative.
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