A doctor in California is making plans to launch a boat into the Gulf of Mexico to provide abortion to women in states along the coast where laws prohibit the baby-killing procedure.
Dr. Meg Autry, a life-long proponent of abortion rights and a licensed abortion provider, has gone public with her plans to defy state laws. Autry is an obstetrician, gynecologist, and professor at the University of California San Francisco.
Her idea is to provide a clinic aboard a ship in federal waters and out of reach of state laws. The boat-based clinic would offer first-trimester surgical abortions, contraception, and other “reproductive” care.
“There’s been an assault on reproductive rights in our country, and I’m a lifelong advocate for reproductive health and choice. We have to create options and be thoughtful and creative to help people in restrictive states get the health care they deserve,” she told reporters.
Autry did note that her idea is only in the fundraising stage. She has directed that funding through the non-profit PRROWESS, which is short for Protecting Reproductive Rights Of Women Endangered by State Statutes.
Her idea resulted from the change in abortion access and laws following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V Wade in June. Her focus has been on Southern states, which sit along the coastline.
Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas have had abortion bans take effect, most of which only allow abortion as a life-saving measure for the mother. Florida’s law prohibits abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions if the procedure is necessary to save a life, prevent serious injury or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality.
Autry noted that her legal team believes there is a patch of federal water where licensed providers could safely and legally provide abortions while remaining out of reach of state laws.
“This is closer and faster access for some people, particularly for working people that live in the southernmost part of these states,” she said about women claiming the need to travel out of state for the procedure.
Autry said they are still trying to work out many details, such as where the boat will launch and how women would get to the ship.