Weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that nationalized abortion law, activists and abortion providers are continuing to try and find ways to keep offering the procedure in and near states where it has been restricted.
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While many scoffed at proposals to set up abortion clinics in national parks, one California doctor has another plan: a floating vessel on the Gulf of Mexico that will provide abortions to residents of states like Texas, Alabama, and Louisiana, where abortion is illegal or restricted.
Dr. Meg Autry, an OB-GYN at the University of California San Francisco, told WBRC-TV she had the idea for some time but that the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, which returned abortion law to the states, is leading her to act on it.
PRROWESS, Autry’s organization, plans to help patients reach the ship and will offer various services, including abortions up until 14 weeks of pregnancy. It’s something she’s doing to respond to the “assault on reproductive rights” she believes is unfolding in America.
Autry and her organization — calling the effort “historic” — are fundraising to try and make the ship a reality. The operation will unfold in federal waters and will reportedly not be subject to state law, according to PRROWESS.
“We believe people ought to have rights to bodily autonomy and healthcare should be equitable, and everyone should be able to access what they choose about their body wherever they are and regardless of their economic status,” she told WBRC-TV.
A website that addresses questions about the vessel notes the belief that women will both need and use the floating clinic, pointing to relief organizations that have deployed similar efforts.
“Our research indicates that patients are willing to seek care in a floating clinic, and these types of facilities have been used by the military and relief organizations for years,” the website reads.
Autry believes she is helping poor people and others who won’t have access to abortion.
“Part of the reason we’re working on this project so hard is because wealthy people in our country are always going to have access [to abortions], so once again, it’s a time now where poor, people of color, marginalized individuals, are gonna suffer — and by suffering, I mean like lives lost,” she told WNBC-TV.
Autry continued, “The project is being funded with philanthropy, and the patients’ care is on a needs basis, so most individuals will pay little to nothing for services.”
The logistics are still being figured out and the effort is sure to receive moral and legal pushback.
Continue to pray for peace, calmness, and the protection of unborn life as activists turn to new means to try and expand abortion in the wake of Roe’s dismantling.
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