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A female California veteran abortionist, who also serves as a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, is planning to offer abortions on a ship in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, so women can evade abortion bans in their home states.
Dr. Meg Autry, an obstetrician and gynecologist, pointed out that women in some southern states would have easier access to abortions because the ship would be closer to their coastal areas than taking a flight to another state. The plan, which is still in its fundraising stage, would see the ship operating nine nautical miles off the coast of Texas and three miles from Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi’s coasts — out of the reach of state waters.
Autry’s group, Protecting Reproductive Rights Of Women Endangered by State Statutes (PRROWESS), stated that it is “a solution for individuals seeking reproductive health care and surgical abortion where it is illegal or impossible.”
“It is just phenomenally difficult to get to an access state, even if it’s paid for,” Autry told KCBS. “Not only is this an innovative, different idea for surgical terminations, but it’s also closer, and more accessible and quicker than other options.”
Autry and her colleagues will perform abortions on women up to 14 weeks of pregnancy.
“’There’s been an assault on reproductive rights in our country and I’m a lifelong advocate for reproductive health and choice,’” Autry told the Associated Press. “’We have to create options and be thoughtful and creative to help people in restrictive states get the health care they deserve.’”
Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas have all banned abortion following last month’s Supreme Court decision which overturned Roe v. Wade.
“’It is my life’s work,’” Autry declared to NBC Bay Area, adding, “’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, [and] marginalized individuals, are gonna suffer — and by suffering I mean like lives lost.’”
Stacy Cross, president of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in California, admitted, “’Over the years we’ve talked about things like boats on federal waters out past the 5-mile line.’”
“PRROWESS is committed to providing a safe haven for individuals in states where their rights are severely impacted by legislation limiting their access to reproductive health care,” the PRROWESS website states.
“PRROWESS believes that no matter how draconian measures targeting reproductive rights become, together we can and will re-assert control over our bodies and lives.”