US doctor proposes floating abortion clinic — Analysis

A philanthropic project could assist women from “States that are restrictive” with access to legal and safe care, Meg Autry explains

Following the landmark Roe v Wade reversal by the US Supreme Court, a gynecologist from California has come up with the idea of a floating abortion clinic in the Gulf of Mexico, which could provide women from “restrictive states” with access to legal and safe care.

After the US Supreme Court reaffirmed Roe V Wade’s 1973 decision, the proposal was made. It also removed federal protections for abortion and gave individual states the responsibility of legalizing or prohibiting the procedure. Alabama, Mississippi and Texas quickly enacted abortion bans. With few exceptions, Florida has made abortion illegal after just 15 weeks.

Meg Autry (an obstetrician/gynecologist and a professor at The University of California) stated that a facility aboard a vessel in Federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico could be a viable option for early terminations. The licensed professionals aboard the boat could offer first-trimester contraception, surgical abortions, and other care, she explained.

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Autry suggested that logistically, some patients might find it easier to board a ship rather than traveling to a country where abortions are legal.

“This is closer and faster access for some people, particularly for working people that live in the southernmost part of these states,” she said.

Autry’s lawyers, who expect multiple legal challenges from the states, are still working out some important details of the project, such as exact positioning of the proposed vessel and the ways of getting to it.

According to the doctor, fundraising is ongoing for the idea. The non-profit organization established for this purpose is called ‘PRROWESS’ – short for ‘Protecting Reproductive Rights Of Women Endangered by State Statutes.’

Autry explained that the project is philanthropic, in an interview last week with NBC News “most individuals will pay little to nothing for services,” she stressed.

Her comments included that creativity and thoughtfulness are crucial in today’s situation. “to help people in restrictive states get the health care they deserve.”

“There’s been an assault on reproductive rights in our country and I’m a lifelong advocate for reproductive health and choice,” the doctor explained.

The Supreme Court’s decision to turn the issue of abortion back to the states has been denounced by many women’s rights advocates and by US President Joe Biden, who decried the move, saying that it was a “sad day for the court and the country.”

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